When Donal Og Cusack suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon during the National League hurling semi-final, it brought to mind an eerie hush that descended around Brewster Park a few weeks back.
Limerick’s John Galvin checked to go inside of his man, but his knee gave way; tearing his cruciate ligament for the second time in under a year.
For years, Galvin has soldiered under the yolk of underachievement, his place of birth denying him the honours that he would so richly deserve, but he is not alone in this regard.
Declan Browne had his fair share of gut-wrenching days as a Tipperary footballer, and a measure of success only came late in Mattie Forde’s career, before a chronic back condition forced him away for good.
Cusack has decorated many fine days of Munster and All-Ireland hurling.
And, leaving aside his beliefs about what player welfare constitutes, anyone would agree that his courage in coming out as a gay man in his wonderful autobiography, ‘Come What May’, did tremendous service to many young people struggling with their identity.
As characters, they are different in a lot of ways, but for leadership and an example of how to play the game, Cusack and Galvin are among the finest examples we have. All we can do is hope that as the advancing years force their hands in when, or if they will play again, that they make the right decision for themselves.