‘I said ‘Your father would be so proud of you” – Special family moment after Limerick’s 2018 triumph

LIMERICK’S LEGENDARY GOALKEEPER says he was delighted to see his county finally end their wait for All-Ireland glory in 2018 on his upcoming episode of Laochra Gael.

Quaid is the next GAA figure to feature in the series which will be aired on TG4 next Thursday.

The episode explores various fascinating aspects of Quaid’s life, including his family’s ties with the goalkeeper position. He also details an unfortunate accident where one of his testicles exploded while saving a penalty, which hampered the final stages of his time playing hurling.

Quaid enjoyed a decorated career between the sticks for his county, although an All-Ireland medal proved to be elusive.

He recalls the joy he felt when Limerick lifted the Liam MacCarthy Cup for the first time in 45 years in 2018, defeating the then-champions Galway in the final.

Nickie Quaid — son of Joe’s first cousin Tommy — lined out in goals for Limerick that day and continues to carry the family tradition of being the county’s chief netminder.

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Joe could barely look as Galway’s Joe Canning stood over a crucial free near the end of the game.

“When he stood over the free,” Quaid begins, “I turned around. I couldn’t watch it. I looked up and I picked a Galway supporter and I picked a Limerick supporter and I watched the two of them.

“I heard the free being hit and none of them reacted. And I said, ‘What’s going on?’ And just as I turned, the ball was dropping in the square and all I could think was, ‘There’s going to be a flick, a goal and the match is over. And we’re gone again.

“And then Tom Condon came out with the ball. I just turned around and the four kids had tears flowing down their eyes.

“I went down and met Nickie at the side and all I said to him was, ‘Your father would be so proud of you.’ It was just unbelievable. And for my father and Jack to be able to see it.

“It was something I always wondered if I’d be jealous because it wasn’t me there. But I wasn’t, it was just magical. Declan Hannon said it in his speech afterwards that it was for all the people that had gone before them, and it felt like he was talking to me.”

Quaid’s cousin Tommy, who was also a famous goalkeeper for Limerick, passed away while performing renovation work on a Credit Union in Charleville in 1998.

Nickie Quaid also features in the episode and explains that he and his brothers were too young at the time to realise what had happened. They came to appreciate their father’s legacy in time.

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“Tommy was my hero,” Joe remembers.

“I remember that day, [Tommy’s sons] Jack, Nickie and Tommy were out the back. Their father was laid out and they were out the back pucking balls.

“To watch young Jack with his father’s boots in his hands walking behind the coffin. And Nickie and Tommy there with Breda. It was heartbreaking.”

Joe Quaid’s Laochra Gael episode will be shown next Thursday night, 3 February on TG4 at 9.30pm.

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