* Inter County team apps and scores correct as of 19:38, 14 December 2013.
Mickey "the Rattler" Byrne (born 2 September 1923) is an Irish retired hurler who played as a right corner-back for the Tipperary senior team.
Born in Dublin, Byrne first excelled at hurling whilst at Thurles CBS. He arrived on the inter-county scene at the age of seventeen when he first linked up with the Tipperary minor team. He joined senior team for the 1945 championship. Byrne went on to play a key part for the next fifteen years, and won four All-Ireland medals, four Munster medals and seven National Hurling League medals.
Byrne represented the Munster inter-provincial team at various times throughout his career, winning one Railway Cup medal as a non-playing substitute in 1955. At club level he won a record fourteen championship medals with Thurles Sarsfields.
Throughout his career, Byrne made 34 championship appearances, which in his day was considered to be a significant career total given that in some seasons in the 20th century, teams might expect no more than one or two appearances in the Championship, moreover, in a period when there was no opportunity to re-enter the Chamopionship following a defeat in the early stages of competition. He announced his retirement from inter-county hurling following the conclusion of the 1959-60 National Hurling League.
Byrne is widely regarded as one of Tipperary's greatest ever players. He has been repeatedly voted onto teams made up of the sport's greats, including at right corner-back on the Tipperary Hurling Team of the Century.
Mickey Byrne was born in Dublin in 1923. He was educated at Thurles CBS where his hurling skills were first developed. Byrne first tasted success when he won a Dean Ryan Cup medal in 1939. He later tasted much more success with both club and county.
Byrne played his club hurling with the famous Thurles Sarsfields club. He won a county medal at minor level in 1940 and quickly graduated onto the club’s senior team. The rest of the 1940s saw him win a three-in-a-row of senior 1944, 1945 and 1946. The 1950s saw Byrne winning county honours in 1952, before winning five consecutive titles in 1955 (Capt.), 1956 (Capt.), 1957, 1958 and 1959. He finished off his club career by winning a second five-in-a-row in 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964 and 1965. Byrne’s tally of 14 county titles is a record which still stands today.
Byrne first came to prominence on the inter-county scene as a member of the Tipperary minor team that lost the 1941 Munster final to Cork. He later joined the county senior team and was a non-playing substitute when Tipp won both Munster and All-Ireland honours in 1945. Four years later in 1949 Byrne was a full member of the team as he won his first National Hurling League medal before later winning a first Munster title. Tipp later defeated Laois in the championship decider, giving Byrne his first All-Ireland medal. He won a second set of National League and Munster honours in 1950 and, once again, Tipp reached the championship decider. Kilkenny fell in the final and Byrne won a second All-Ireland medal. 1951 saw Byrne add a third Munster medal to his collection as Tipp qualified for a third consecutive All-Ireland final appearance. Wexford were the opponents, however, the Munstermen had the upper-hand and Byrne won a third All-Ireland medal in-a-row. The following few years saw little in the way of championship success for Tipperary, however, Byrne won further National League medals in 1952, 1954, 1955 and 1957. Tipp were back in championship form in 1958 and Byrne won a fourth Munster medal. This was later converted into a fourth All-Ireland medal following a victory over Galway. He won his seventh and eighth National League medals in 1959 and 1960 and retired from inter-county hurling.