Kilkenny hurling great Liam 'Chunky' O'Brien has passed away at the age of 72.

O'Brien was one of Kilkenny's greatest players from one of their finest eras, winning four All-Ireland titles and seven Leinster championship medals during the 1970s.

He also enjoyed a gilded career at club level, winning an All-Ireland club title with James Stephens in 1975-76.

Kilkenny GAA announced news of his passing this morning, expressing deep sadness at the news.

"Kilkenny GAA is deeply saddened today on hearing the sad news of Liam 'Chunky' O’Brien’s death. He was an immense hurler for Kilkenny winning 4 All-Ireland titles in the 1970’s and 7 Leinster titles.

"He also had an stellar career with his club James Stephen’s winning 4 Kilkenny SHC titles.

"Kilkenny GAA extends it’s deepest sympathies to his family, friends and the James Stephen’s Club at this sad time."

Operating in a legendary midfield pairing alongside Frank Cummins, O'Brien won three All-Ireland titles in four years with Kilkenny between 1972 and 1975.

He was a free-scoring presence from midfield, running up 0-05 in both the 1972 and 1975 deciders. He won three successive All Stars at centre-field between 1973 and 1975 and was named Texaco Hurler of the Year for the 1975 season.

After Cork intervened and claimed three-in-a-row in the subsequent years, O'Brien won his fourth and final medal in 1979, delivering one of his finest final performances, scoring 1-07 from wing-forward as Kilkenny overcame Galway in the decider. He collected his fourth All Star following that season and soon after retired from the inter-county scene.