Wexford hurling has lost a second great servant in the space of a week, as talented forward Paul Morris has followed his colleague Shaun Murphy into inter-county retirement.
The Ferns St. Aidans clubman was the longest-serving member of manager Darragh Egan’s squad, having been part of the Wexford set-up since 2010. He made his championship debut against Galway that year, and in total, has made more than 120 competitive appearances for the Model County. Always good for a couple of points from play, his role as free-taker for a number of years also saw him bolster his inter-county tally, and indeed he ranks in Wexford’s top ten championship scorers of all time.
The highlight of his inter-county career was winning the Leinster Senior Hurling title with Wexford in 2019, while he also picked up three Walsh Cup medals along the way. At club level, his greatest day came in August of this year, when he helped Ferns St. Aidans to win their first-ever Wexford Senior Hurling Championship title, in the 136th year of the club’s existence. His performance that day saw him selected as the TG4 Man of the Match.
Other club honours include a Wexford Intermediate Hurling title from 2007 (when he was just 17 years old), and a County League title from 2014. His medal collection also includes an All-Ireland colleges medal, won with FCJ Bunclody.
Announcing his retirement, Paul said:
“I’ve loved every minute wearing the Purple and Gold. It’s been one of the greatest honours of my life. As a kid, all I ever wanted was to play in Croke Park and climb the Hogan Stand steps for Leinster and All-Ireland glory. Thankfully one of them was achieved, however I can no longer give the levels required, and my focus now turns to prolonging my club career.
“I owe a depth of gratitude to all my team-mates, managers, Wexford supporters and coaches over the years. The friendships and bonds created will be cherished forever. My club Ferns St Aidans gave me the platform to represent Wexford and I look forward now to helping the next generation in our club. Finally, huge thanks to my family and fiancée Leanne. Nobody has supported me more through thick and thin, and this might now make watching games a bit easier!
“I wish Wexford every success for 2023. Thanks for the memories – Le Croì agus Lámh!
Chairman of Wexford GAA, Micheál Martin, is among those to have paid tribute to Paul. He said:
“Paul’s retirement today brings an end to the inter-county playing career of one of Wexford’s great servants. He was a consistent and reliable scoring forward for over a decade and his class on the field was matched by his demeanour off the field.
“He has acted as a mentor and confidant to many of our new players and has successfully helped them understand the significance of wearing the Purple and Gold jersey. His recent county final success and man of the match award for Ferns St Aidans was roundly welcomed by all Wexford hurling fans as a just reward for Paul’s contribution to the game.
“All in Wexford GAA thank Paul for his dedicated service, and wish him all the best for the future.”