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Tyrone legend Ricey slams revolting personal abuse

By John Campbell

Tyrone triple All-Ireland winner Ryan McMenamin sees himself portrayed as something of a poacher turned gamekeeper as the current 'sledging' controversy swirls round him.

In serving his county from 1999 until 2013, 'Ricey' played in scores of games in which, on his own admission, he was never short of a word or two thousand.

Today, as part of the Tyrone Minor team management, the Dromore clubman is appalled at the claim that a Donegal minor player was taunted during a game about the death of his father from cancer.

"I will hold my hand up and say that I was not exactly a shrinking violet on the field of play and maybe said some things that would have been better left unsaid," admits McMenamin.

"But when your hear an allegation of this nature about what a young minor player endured, it is revolting. I can only imagine the grief that this must have occasioned him.

"My father has had cancer twice and I know the heartbreak and agony that this can afflict on a family and I wouldn't wish it on anyone.

"I would never dream of stooping to such a low level, nor I imagine would any player with a shred of decency in him. It is disgusting in the extreme."

And McMenamin robustly refutes the suggestion that team managers encourage players to engage in verbal abuse of opponents.

"Certainly we in the Tyrone minor camp would not encourage or condone this. Everything about our approach to the game is above board and for any manager to exhort his players to verbally abuse opponents - and we all know that some of this stuff can be particularly salacious and sordid - is unthinkable," said McMenamin.

He urges players who might be tempted to indulge in unnecessary verbals during the remainder of the Ulster Championship "to take a step back."

He goes on: "I think that players should think before they open their mouths. If they take a step back, it might save an awful lot of embarrassment and trouble.

"Family life is precious and players only descend into the gutter when they make disgusting references about the female relatives of other players in particular."

Belfast Telegraph


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