Tom Parsons was on Newstalk’s Off The Ball Show last night to talk about the horrendous injury he picked up in the Galway game, the long recovery road he’s now embarked on and his hopes for playing again in the future.
Tom’s interview is widely covered in the media today. As well as on the Newstalk website itself (here), there are also pieces about the interview on RTÉ, The 42 and Balls.ie. You can listen to the interview in full here:
In it, Tom reveals the gruesome extent of what befell him earlier this month at MacHale Park. The injury he suffered was, he states, a multiple one:
I’ve ruptured three of the four ligaments and I’ve torn the fourth. There’s tears to the calf and hamstring as well and knee is fully dislocated.
He’s already had one round of surgery, with a second operation to come in August. As Stephen Rochford stated in an interview piece with the Irish Examiner the other day (here), Tom is, despite the catastrophic nature of the injury he’s suffered and the onerous road to recovery now ahead of him, targeting the Connacht opener against New York next May as his comeback fixture.
Tom proclaims his desire to “give it everything in my power to come back and play football with my club and Mayo.” In doing so, though, he speaks with precision and determination about what’s ahead of him:
That goal to just walk, that goal to just jog, once I can walk, I’ll jog, once I can jog I’ll run.
In the interview, Tom also mentions the many good wishes he’s received from supporters and how these have lifted his spirits. What’s been striking in this regard is how people from all over the country – many from counties Tom has inflicted damage on down the years with powerful midfield performances – have joined in to wish the Charlestown man well.
I’m frequently to the fore in decrying the shift in recent years – especially since the advent of social media – to soccer-style tribalism amongst rival GAA supporters. It’s been a pleasant surprise, then, to see clear evidence that a significant wellspring of common decency remains alive within GAA folk, whatever their county allegiance, and the many messages of support Tom has received from far and wide prove this point.
It helps too, of course, that Tom is – as the OTB interview shows – a special kind of person. More power to him in the months ahead, as his recovery takes him from walking, to jogging and back to that languid, almost effortless style of running that Mayo supporters know and love so well about him.
The Mayo GAA Lotto is a practical way of showing your support for Tom and the rest of the team. You can play the Lotto here.