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Bernard Flynn played through the pain barrier for Meath ‘out of fear’

bernard flynn

“Those few days were probably the loneliest I’ve ever had in my life.”

Bernard Flynn was the latest guest on TG4’s Laochra Gael series and he spoke openly about playing through the pain barrier “out of fear” when representing Meath.

Flynn won back-to-back All-Ireland titles with Meath in 1987 and 1988 as well as five Leinster medals and three National League titles.

flynn laochra gael

Bernard Flynn.

However, the two-time All-Star was blighted by injuries throughout his career and he was forced to retire before his 30th birthday due to a serious hip issue.

“I had this pain inside my hop joint that kept coming back,” Flynn told TG4’s Laochra Gael.

“It was there and it got worse but I just kept playing through the pain barrier. I used to get injections to play, and wouldn’t say anything to anybody. It wasn’t the smartest thing, long-term.”

Nevertheless, Flynn continued to play on “out of fear” that manager Sean Boylan wouldn’t select him after his injury.

“It was out of fear. If something happens then somebody else gets in,” Flynn continued.

“The one thing with Sean was if somebody had the jersey and was playing well then he was staying.”

Despite suffering a serious injury for Mullingar Shamrocks against Baltinglass in 1992, Flynn continued to play for Meath, taking painkillers to get him through matches.

flynn meath


Eventually Flynn retired but he did not have hip surgery until his early 40s.

“The pain escalated pretty badly, I had a horrible number of years,” Flynn added.

“I was afraid to get the hip replaced. I hung on until I was 43, which was too long. I’d definitely suffered. There were times I’d fall on the ground with pain.

“My wife would put on my jeans and my socks. There were times I couldn’t move.

“For a couple of weeks, I could be in a mess physically in a bad way where I literally could do very little.

bernard flynn

“I was at the end of my tether with pain. It was sorted when I got the hip replacement. I remember one day lying in the hospital when I’d just lost my entire business.

“I was a week in hospital after having my hip replaced. That was a moment where I had a lot of time to think. There were a few lonely, harrowing days in that hospital.

“It does get you thinking and you say, ‘Right, you sink or swim. You’ve got to get out, support the family and you’ve got to get back on that horse again’.

“Those few days were probably the loneliest I’ve ever had in my life.”

You can watch the full episode of Bernard Flynn’s Laochra Gael by clicking here.

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