Timmy Hammersley paid eloquent tribute to the importance of the GAA in Irish communities after helping Clonoulty-Rossmore to the Tipperary senior hurling title for the first time since 1997.
Hammersley, an All-Ireland winner with the Premier County in 2010, scored 12 points as the underdogs triumphed by 0-23 to 2-12 over Nenagh Éire Óg at Semple Stadium today.
"It just means so much to the people of Clonoulty and Rossmore," he told RTÉ Radio 1's Sunday Sport. "Family, friends, it's such a small place.
"I didn't want to win it for myself. It's for the people you grow up with.
"Rural Ireland has got a lot of bad coverage over the past while, jobs and so on, but you just want to give people something to be happy about.
"Whether it's the woman who washes the jerseys, who sells tickets or trains the Under-10 team, it's all one.
"You can't beat your parish and your club and your community.
"It's the lifeblood of the whole of Ireland really.
"What separates Ireland from other countries is the GAA. It's such a unique thing that brings people together."
Listen to the full interview below
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Hammersley had been on the losing side in Tipperary finals in 2010 and 2011 but was determined his side wouldn't let this opportunity escape them.
"We got the rub of it there with about 10 minutes to go and got three or four points" he said.
"When we got ahead we weren't going to go behind, I can tell you that.
"We've been in that position so many times over the years and we've been beaten so many times in tight games. We really had to hold onto it."
Dream's to come through pic.twitter.com/bxP7gyxzig— Timmy Hammersley (@TimmyHammersley) October 21, 2018