Henry Shefflin has detailed the extreme lengths Tommy Walsh would go to to win - even in training - as he paid tribute to the "heart and passion" that made his old team-mate one of the key cogs in the Kilkenny engine.

Last October Eoin Larkin told RTÉ Sport about a training clash he had with Walsh which typified the intensity of attitude Brian Cody harnessed within his panel.  

Speaking to the RTÉ GAA Podcast Shefflin had his own story about Walsh, who won nine All-Irelands in a sparkling career.

"Tommy wanted to play every Walsh Cup game that was going," Shefflin said.

"He used to be disgusted when Brian Cody would give him a break in January. That's the player he was. I remember marking him one day in a training match.

"I was getting the better of him, and he just couldn't take it that I was getting the better of him.

"The ball was up the other end of the field, and just before it was about to be delivered, he grappled me and threw me on to the ground. It was if (he was saying), 'I don't care, Henry is not getting a score here'."

Shefflin had nothing but praise for the Tullaroan half-back. His ferocious will to win elevated him to an elite level, with Shefflin also highlighting the crowd-pleasing nature of Walsh's swashbuckling style of play.

"It was that heart and passion that made him a fans' favourite and made him such a key part of our team. I used to love seeing Tommy going up to the sky, grabbing the ball and delivering it.

"The roar that would go up from the crowds... it's different now. A wing-back wins the ball and it's like, 'don't give it away, don't deliver it'. It's like players go, 'steady down, play it through the lines, give it back to someone, a bit of link play'.

"It's something that's gone out of the game and it's a bit of a loss I think."

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