Sport is by its nature transient and with every team needing to field players from one week to the next the retirement of one is inevitably filled quickly by the arrival of another into the team.
Occasionally though a player transcends that, making an impact that will long outlast whether or not their name is on the teamsheet.
Rena Buckley announced her retirement yesterday from inter-county Camogie and Ladies Football. She is the most decorated player in the history of Gaelic Games with an incredible total of 18 All Ireland Medals at senior level.
Eleven of those came in Ladies Football and seven more in Camogie. Her claims to the building of statues in every corner of the county are bolstered by her being the only player to have captained the county to success in both codes as she did in 2012 in Football and last year in Camogie.
She has won eleven All-Star Awards across both codes as well as a host of other honours including Minor titles, County Championships and more. In 2015 she was voted as the Irish Times / Sport Ireland Sportswoman of the Year alongside fellow dual star Breege Corkery.
We have had the pleasure to sit beside her on numerous panel discussions in recent years and she has always proven to be an intelligent and thoughtful commentator on aspects of the games ranging from an opportunity for kids to work-life balance, advances in coaching and so much more.
She has always been a pleasure to know as well as to watch from the stands. To think she has achieved everything she has at the same time as studying for a Masters in UCD and building her own physiotherapy business is incredible.
The picture above was taken by Sportsfile’s Diarmuid Greene at the launch of New Ireland Assurance coming on board as sponsors of the Cork Camogie Squad in 2016. It shows Buckley seemingly flying through the air like Superwoman.
If ever a player in Irish sport deserved the accolade as a superhero for her times, then it is her.
We would like to thank her for the pleasure she has brought on and off the field and to wish her well in the next chapter of life.
We would like to hope that her unique skills across both codes and as someone who understands the games deeply will lead her at some point into management and perhaps adding to her All Ireland tally as manager, most likely of the Cork Camogie team.