12 Dec, 14:42
Prop Cian Healy is expected to miss the start of the 2014 RBS 6 Nations after undergoing surgery on his injured ankle on Wednesday.
The Kerry man will become the first rugby player to receive such an honour and there is no more deserving character than the popular 36 year old, from the town of Currow in Co Kerry.
Besides the distinction of having won an All Ireland Senior Football Championship medal with his native Kerry, he has also won five All Ireland League and nine Senior Cup medals with Shannon; being capped over 130 times by Munster - 85 of those as captain - ;41 times by Ireland who he also captained and was a Lion in New Zealand in 1993.
After a record forty seven consecutive Heineken Cup caps, Galwey sat out Munster's most recent appearance in the compeitition as young guns Paul O'Connell, Donncha O'Callaghan and Mick O'Driscoll stepped up to the plate, but he remains a member of the squad and on Saturday morning will fly out to Italy to be with his Munster team-mates.
Never short of a word or two, and always a kind word, he sat down over two years ago with Irish Examiner journalist, Charlie Mulqueen to set down on paper his sporting experiences. It was a work that according to Mulqueen was ''quite a while in gestation" because "we planned to launch it when Gaillimh was finished playing." But since their first meeting he has led Munster to a place in a Heineken Cup semi-final and final and led his country in the Six Nations. "And still he hasn't finished," says Muqueen, "but we deicded to go ahead with it anyway."
'It', is simply called, Galwey, two hundred and eight pages of easy and enjoyable reading, interspersed with marvellous photographs of family, friends, sad occasions and glad occasions.
In a tribute, his Munster coach and friend Declan Kidney said, "The respect for Mick has been built up over the years. If he asks for something, it's because the other players know he's done it himself and that's why they'll go out and do it themselves. There's no bravado when he does the talking."
Nor is there any bravado in a book that has a continuous thread of humility and good humour. It's no more than one would expect. He finishes off with the following.
"Rugby is like life. There's nothing fair about it. I have played with and against several players who deserved to be capped and never were. Lady Luck and the hand of God play a huge part in all our lives. I think of my father who died at 48 and never saw me in a red or green jersey. I look at my family and know how much he would have adored them.
What the game gave me, far, far outweights whatever contribution I might have made. I can honestly say that I will back in years to come and say, "I was there and I loved it."
Galwey is available at Easons and all leading bookshops and priced at 20.