Backballer inventor Noel Marshall with Aron Shanagher, Kerry All Star footballer Kieran Donaghy, Aaron Cunningham and Dermot O’Donnell at his Smithstown premises.

You’ve simply got to hand it to Noel Marshall, the Cork native who now regards himself as a adopted Clare man is a sports fanatic. Last year he developed and manufactured the Backballer, an innovative dual foam roller device that allows athletes to loosen out tight muscles. It’s also used as a recovery aid to self-treat minor muscular injuries. Since then he has been actively promoting the Backballer with the help of well known sports personalities.

Sonia O’Sullivan was in Shannon to launch the device along with internationally renowned physical therapist Gerard Hartman. Others to sing its praises include soccer international Shane Long; Irish rugby internationals Keith Earls, Johnny Sexton and Ian Madigan; Jaco Taute, the South African who has had his contract with Munster Rugby extended to the end of the season and GAA stars of football and hurling.

At his busy Smithstown premises, Noel now employs two Clare inter-county hurlers, Aron Shanagher and Aaron Cunningham. Last week he sent the two lads off to Dublin for a bit of promotional work. He joked that they got a speeding ticket and managed to have the car clamped outside TodayFM’s offices!

Known to one and all as Brickie, he is also the inventor of a tool for bricklayers, Noel pulled off another coup last week when Kerry’s All Star footballer Kieran Donaghy called into to Smithstown to endorse the Backballer. During his stay, Brickie had Kieran togged out in a Wolfe Tones jersey when he teamed up with Shanagher and Cunningham for some photos. He even brought along copies of his auto-biography “What do you think of that”, which was sports book of the year in 2016. Kieran signed the books and two Backballers and Noel is now having a competition for them on his website.

Later in the week he pulled off another celebrity endorsement this time from Shane Williams, the Wales rugby international who was in Donegal togging out for Glenswilly GAA Club as part of the third series of “The Toughest Trade”. Recently Backballer featured on the national media when Noel received an order from a strength and conditioning coach with Premier League side Manchester City. Sales of the Backballer are booming with Olympic athletes, and stars of rugby, soccer and GAA all lavishing praise on the product.

According to Noel Marshall the online orders are now exceeding his expectations and he believes the future looks very good for this essential training aid that was devised and developed here in Shannon.