AT CROKE PARK: HURLER OF the year for 2010 Lar Corbett has spoken about his meeting with Queen Elizabeth at Croke Park yesterday and revealed that the British monarch displayed a keen interest in the sport.
Corbett and his Thurles Sarsfields clubmate Pádraic Maher received an invitation from the GPA (Gaelic Players Association) a fortnight ago to meet the Queen. Corbett said he was “delighted to be asked”.
Tipperary star Corbett added: “Myself and Pádraic were delighted to be asked. It was great to get the opportunity. It could have been anyone but we got a phone call from the GPA.
“She was talking to me and Paudie, asking about the hurley we had in our hands. President Mary McAleese was explaining about shinty and the Queen asked if we had been playing hurling from a young age and was inquiring about Croke Park.
“[GAA president] Christy Cooney was at her side explaining about the sport,” he added. “He told her that we are voluntary players and don’t get paid, that we work normally as well but that we play in front of full houses at Croke Park.
“She thought that was very interesting. She also asked about the hurley and how they’re made.
“She has such a busy schedule with visits to different places in Dublin but she is a fair lady for 85 years of age, showing an interest in everybody she meets here.”
Corbett said he was aware of the historical significance of the visit to the ground where Tipperary footballer Michael Hogan was one of 14 people killed on Bloody Sunday in 1920.
“I was honoured to represent the GPA at Croke Park. Joe Sheridan, the Meath footballer, was also there, along with Kevin Nolan from Dublin.”
Corbett said he wasn’t nervous. “Paudie and myself were saying that it was one visit to Croke Park where we couldn’t lose because when we’re up here, we’re usually playing in matches where it’s win or lose. It was great to be there, to shake hands with her.”