Not many men have won All-Ireland titles after transferring to another county.

Kildare natives Larry Tompkins and Shea Fahy are the most recent - they lifted Sam Maguire twice with Cork in 1989 and '90 after moving to Castlehaven and Nemo Rangers respectively.

Before that, Clare hurler Niall McInerney became full-back on the Galway side that won the 1980 All-Ireland while Tony Reddin spent a few years as Galway's sub-goalkeeper before winning three hurling titles in a row with Tipperary (1949-51) and being named as No 1 on the Team of the Millenium.

Tomorrow, Meath man Jack Fagan has the chance to join that exalted company when he lines out at half-forward for his adopted county Waterford against Limerick at Croke Park.

Fagan was raised in Rathmolyon, a village about halfway between Enfield and Trim in South Meath, where hurling is at its strongest.

Jack's first hurley was made at the age of three by his grandfather Niall Fagan.

His father Fergus won a Leinster club SFC title with Summerhill in 1977 and is related to Meath football great Liam Harnan. Sister Ann Marie won a junior camogie All-Ireland with Meath in 2012.

Uncle Diarmuid Healy, a Kilkenny man, managed Offaly to their first All-Ireland title in 1981.

Former Meath camogie player Grainne Harnan is Fergus' first cousin and, along with the late Paul Gunning,  trained Jack for the "purely hurling" club at the under 11 grade.

"I can remember him at 4 or 5 with a Rathmolyon jersey that was like a dress on him," she recalls.

"He was an exceptional kid. The best player on the team by far. He was always in the right place at the right time.

"There are some fantastically skilful players out there but they don't know what to do with a ball. He just puts it in their pocket.

"He always just wanted to play. When he was injured he would play in goals.

"He's a shy guy, good-natured, who doesn’t like the limelight and prefers to just be on the team and do his bit. Like anyone, when he gets the confidence he can do anything."

Shortly after leaving Dangan primary school, where he won titles under principal Vincent Brennan, Jack, the youngest of seven siblings, lost his mother Bernie to illness.

Harnan recalls giving him lifts to training as his age group claimed Meath titles at U11, U13, U16 and minor level.

Rathmolyon, a club based around only 30-odd families and known as 'The Village', have won three Meath senior titles since their foundation in 1963 but have been up and down the grades in recent years.

It was in the intermediate county final in 2012 that the then 17-year-old Jack established himself, scoring two points from play alongside his brothers Aaron, Kevin and Noel in the win over Wolf Tones.

They went on to contest the Leinster junior final against Kilkenny's Thomastown and the following year Jack, student of the year at Boyne Community School, headed to IT Carlow.

He was on the team that won the freshers' All-Ireland in 2013 alongside Marty Kavanagh and became a key player for manager DJ Carey as the college reached their first ever Fitzgibbon Cup final in 2016/17.

Jack Fagan (L) in action for Meath against Kildare in the 2015 Allianz Hurling League Division 2B final

Fagan made his senior Meath debut in 2015, scoring 1-05 in the Christy Ring cup win over Wicklow in May, but the round 2 defeat to Kerry was to be his last appearance in the Green and Gold.  

Just seconds into the U21 Shinty International that October, Fagan scored a goal against Scotland that grabbed the attention of soon to be county team-mate Austin Gleeson.

In the new year, having struck up a friendship with college team-mate and Waterford hurler Colin Dunford, and lived in the city, Fagan spoke at the Rathmolyon GAA and asked them to allow him transfer to De La Salle. The request was unanimously granted.

Speaking to the Waterford News & Star recently, Fagan admitted that it was "a big move for me alright".

"I've settled in ok. I was nervous coming down. The opportunity came up and I didn't want to be looking back regretting anything. It’s great to be in here,  I love it up in De La Salle."

Proof that there was no bitterness over the loss of their star talent can be found in the billboard the club erected this week wishing him luck.

His family still live in the area and one lucky Rathmolyon youngster was the recipient of a sliotar after the All-Ireland semi-final win over Kilkenny.

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"We hated to see him go from Rathmolyon, who wants to see a player of that calibre go?" admits Harnan, who continues to travel to Jack's games to this day - pandemics permitting.

"But there are enough begrudgers in this life. His life was down in Waterford then, we wished him luck. He's very committed and he's doing really well. He made his life down there and life goes on.

"It's make-believe where he is. He could be coming back giving out medals, one of our own.

"We're all rooting for Waterford. I had my head stuck in a pillow the last day, it’s hard to watch when you’re so involved."

Fagan found senior recognition slow to come in Waterford. He was part of the panel that won a first U-21 All-Ireland title in 24 years in 2016 but an ankle injury restricted his appearances.

He starred for a De La Salle team that reached the final in the 2017 and 2019 county championships, scoring 2-16 from play in the latter, but an extended trip to see his brothers in Australia kept him out of then manager Páraic Fanning's plans last year.

Now working as a car salesman in the city, his performance in the 2019 final defeat to Ballygunner was enough to catch the eye of newly installed boss Liam Cahill, however.

Jack Fagan catches a ball against Ballygunner in the 2019 Waterford SHC final

He has played in all of Waterford's eight league and championship games this season, scoring 3-05 from play and showing remarkable fielding and vision to set up two goals in the All-Ireland semi-final comeback win over Kilkenny.

He also scored a superb solo goal in the league clash with Limerick.

"He's a serious man for catching ball," says De La Salle manager Bryan Phelan, a former Waterford wing-back, of the 6'1 wing-forward. 

"He was playing like that for the club all year. It didn't really happen for Waterford but you could see it coming.

"The first couple of (championship) games he was really working hard, and it happened for him against Kilkenny.

"Everyone was delighted for him. That’s his form, he’s capable of doing that all the time.

"He's enjoying life. Everything is going well for him at the moment, his work and his hurling, most importantly.

"His confidence should be high for Sunday and I expect another big performance out of him."

Watch the All-Ireland senior hurling final between Limerick and Waterford and the Joe McDonagh Cup final between Antrim and Kerry live on RTÉ2 from 12.30pm Sunday, listen to live commentary on RTÉ Radio 1 or follow our live blog on RTÉ Sport Online and the RTÉ News app. Highlights on The Sunday Game (9.30pm RTÉ2)