Mike Houlihan retires from hurling

16 June 2006
Limerick great Mike Houlihan has called time on his illustrious hurling career – 21 years after making his senior debut for Kilmallock.

It’s a timely announcement as, exactly 13 years ago, the twice-decorated All Star midfielder captained Limerick against Clare in the Munster SHC at Cusack Park. On Sunday, the counties meet at the same venue in the qualifiers.

Houla retired from the intercounty stage in 1999 and played his last club match a fortnight ago when he appeared as a substitute in Kilmallock’s first-round senior championship draw with Knockainey.

During the course of a decorated career with club and county, Mike Houlihan won two Munster SHCs, two national hurling leagues, two county SHCs and two Munster club championships. He represented Limerick in the 1994 and 1996 All-Ireland senior hurling deciders at Croke Park.

The 37-year-old confirmed: “I just felt I didn’t have the touch anymore. You need to have a hurley in your hand and be hitting a ball against the wall and I wasn’t doing that anymore.

“I had a good year last year but now the appetite is gone.

“The only time I was holding a hurley was when I was going training. With a family of three children, a business and farming, it is hard to fit everything in.”