Noel McGrath: 'I never expected to play in Croke Park again after cancer diagnosis'

The Tipperary star won his second All-Ireland title on Sunday

Noel McGrath: 'I never expected to play in Croke Park again after cancer diagnosis'

Noel McGrath Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Donall Farmer

It has been an emotional and test 18 months for Tipperary's Noel McGrath.

In April last year, McGrath underwent surgery for testicular cancer, before returning to the Tipperary team in time for their semi-final loss to Galway in Croke Park. The then Galway manager Anthony Cunningham consoling McGrath after the game became of the the GAA's defining pictures of 2015.

On Sunday, McGrath helped Tipperary win the All-Ireland in a nine-point win over Kilkenny. The Loughmore-Castleiney star scored a point in the win, and played in the team with his brother John, as younger brother Brian captained the victorious minor side.

Speaking to the Irish Independent on Monday, McGrath admitted he did not expect the events of Sunday to happen in his wildest dreams after his cancer diagnosis.

John and Noel McGrath with the Liam McCarthy Cup. Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Cathal Noonan

"Fifteen months ago I never thought I'd be playing in Croke Park, let alone going up the steps at Croke Park, or watching Brendan [Maher] lift up the cup."

McGrath admitted that getting back into the Tipperary squad was a huge bonus, after he returned to action following his recovery.

"I was just delighted to be able to get back playing to whatever level I could get back to - I wasn't sure what that would be."

It's a brilliant and emotional end to what has been a testing period for McGrath and his family. The fact his two brothers were also on winning sides on the same day made it even better.