The hearts and minds of all football fans in the county and indeed country at large were filled with admiration and inspiration when Thomas Parsons made his return to competitive action midway through the recent Mayo v Dublin All-Ireland Football semi-final in Croke Park.
The whole of the massive Mayo support base and indeed many of our Dublin counterparts rose to their feet to applaud a man who has shown magnificent courage and bravery to return to the Mayo colours and in the process complete an astounding and remarkable comeback. His persistence and willingness to get his body right to be able to compete at that level once again has to be marvelled at when one considers the full extent of the injury his knee sustained when it buckled under him in McHale Park in May 2018.
His whole knee was shattered beyond recognition as he made that forlorn journey to the sideline in absolute agony. From that day Thomas made a vow that he would move heaven and earth to resume an inter county career that had been careering towards the very top such were the levels of excellence and consistency he had been showing since his return to the inter county fold in 2014. Thomas with the help of his wife Carol, a qualified physiotherapist, aided him in his recovery from day one as they embarked on an often painful and traumatic journey back to full fitness.
Thomas got terrific support from his county colleagues, club mates and the G.A.A family as a whole as everybody rallied around and offered him whatever assistance and support they could muster to encourage him to stay strong in those dark, lonely and painful days of rehab. Ultimately he had to subject his body to all kinds of treatment and punishment with several operations needed to rebuild the knee to make it strong enough to withstand the rigours daily life not to mention inter county training.
Only Thomas and Carol know what he had to endure in order to realise his dreams and ambitions of returning to the playing fields and getting back to the pinnacle of the game he had so dedicated his life to achieving as he and the Mayo squad maintained their ambitions of winning Sam Maguire. The defeat to Dublin was a crushing blow to those great Mayo players who have given everything in their pursuit of the ultimate.
Thomas was no less disappointed but the back story of his return is truly remarkable as he overcame incredible odds, defied all known medical opinion and gave hope to hundreds of other injury stricken players in the process that once you have the will, the desire and the mental strength anything is possible and his return to play will give the Sarsfields a real boost as they get ready to resume their championship quest.
His availability for the remainder of the championship will surely drive the Sarsfields on as he offers so much in terms of leadership, guidance and big time experience that can only spell good for the green and white`s prospects for the remainder of the championship.
Welcome back Thomas and we look forward to seeing you propel the Sarsfields forward and provide the inspiration for what we hope will be a success fuelled autumn campaign.