53 players to retire from inter-county duty in 2017

December 31, 2017

Sean Cavanagh leads his Tyrone teammates out for their All-Ireland SFC semi-final clash against Dublin at Croke Park.
©INPHO/Ryan Byrne.

There were many players who chose 2017 as the year to retire from inter-county duty.

Here's our list...

1. Karl Lacey (Donegal)

Now a member of new boss Declan Bonner's backroom team, the Tír Chonaill legend reached the pinnacle of his glittering career in 2012 when he helped his county to All-Ireland glory before being crowned 'Footballer of the Year'.

2. PJ Banville (Wexford)

A driving force behind the Mounty County for over 13 years, Banville made at least 100 appearances in the purple and gold and even had a stint with the New York footballers.

3. Denis Bastick (Dublin)

Bastick's inter-county race looked run in 2008 when he was dropped by Paul Caffrey at the age of 27 but the Templeogue-Synge Street clubman grabbed his second chance with both hands and went on to win five Celtic Crosses.

4. Rory Kavanagh (Donegal)

The St Eunan's stalwart decided to retire from inter-county football for a second time having initially bowed out after the 2014 All-Ireland final defeat to Kerry.

5. David Walsh (Donegal)

Handed his debut under Brian McIver in 2006, Walsh gave his all for the county's cause and was one of a quartet of players that retired from Rory Gallagher's set-up in 2017.

6. Christy Toye (Donegal)

'Magnus' as he is fondly known by his team-mates after Icelandic four-time World's Strongest Man Magnus Ver Magnusson, holds the record for most championship goals scored by a Donegal player at Croke Park.

7. Denis Glennon (Westmeath)

The classy Tyrrellspass forward was the Lake County's last remaining link to Paidí Ó Sé's 2004 Leinster winning side and gave 15 years of service in the maroon jersey.

8. Alan Dillon (Mayo)

After making 134 appearances, scoring 3-225, last month saw two-time All-Star Dillon bring the curtain down on his remarkable 18-year Mayo career.

9. Adrian Reid (Louth)

Equally at home in defence or attack, Reid represented the Wee County seniors with great distinction for over a decade.

10. Joe Hayes (Clare)

The Lissycasey clubman lined out between the posts as the Banner County made it to the All-Ireland quarter-finals for the first time ever last year while a persistent hip injury curtailed his inter-county career.

11. Emmet Bolton (Kildare)

Described as 'one of the new breed of attacking half-backs that struck fear into opposing half-forwards with his attacking style of play', Bolton banged in nine goals for the Lilywhites.

12. Bryan Sheehan (Kerry)

Minor goalkeeper turned All-Star midfielder, Sheehan will go down as one of gaelic football's finest free-takers alongside his St Mary's, Cahirciveen club-mate Maurice Fitzgerald.

13. Colm Cooper (Kerry)

Regarded by many as the greatest gaelic footballer of all time, 'Gooch' ended his illustrious 14-year inter-county career just weeks after finally winning an All-Ireland club medal with his beloved Dr Crokes.

14. Aidan O'Mahony (Kerry)

The Rathmore warrior was yet another Kingdom legend who retired in 2017, O'Mahony collected five All-Ireland medals and went on to become a Dancing with the Stars champion.

15. Niall McNamee (Offaly)

McNamee made his senior inter-county debut in 2003 as a Leaving Cert student, aged 17 and it didn't take long for him to establish himself as one of the top forwards in the country.

16. Brian Darby (Offaly)

The Faithful County corner-back followed his Rhode club-mate McNamee into the sunset after a decade of service in the green and gold jersey.

17. Alan O'Connor (Cork)

New Rebels boss Ronan McCarthy confirmed the news of the All-Ireland winning midfielder's second inter-county retirement having previously walked away at the end of Conor Counihan's reign.

18. Mark Poland (Down)

Play-maker Poland proved a key figure in the Down side that reached the 2010 All-Ireland final and his goal in the quarter-final victory over reigning champions Kerry that same season was a huge moment.

19. Sean Cavanagh (Tyrone)

Following his decision to give it one more year, the Moy star ended an 'incredible journey' that brought him a remarkable list of honours including three All-Ireland SFC medals, five All-Star awards and a Footballer of the Year accolade.

20. Shane Roche (Wexford)

Roche was a regular in the Model County forward division for many seasons before making his 100th appearance for the county as goalkeeper in their qualifier win against Limerick.

21. Paddy Kelly (Cork)

The 2010 All-Ireland winner retired from inter-county duty after failing to recover from injury problems.

22. Neil Gallagher (Donegal)

Gallagher was a colossus in the Donegal midfield for over a decade but a back injury limited his playing time during recent seasons.

23. Ciaran McKeever (Armagh)

An ever-present on the Orchard County half-back line for 14 years, the Cullyhanna man captained his county to an All-Ireland U21 title in 2004.

24. Andy Mallon (Armagh)

Another link to the 2004 All-Ireland U21 winning Armagh side, Mallon collected four Ulster SFC titles and received an All-Star in 2005.

25. Tony Kernan (Armagh)

Kernan's early retirement brought an end to his family's long-lasting involvement with the Armagh senior set-up.

26. Justin McMahon (Tyrone)

McMahon and his brother Joe will be fondly remembered in Tyrone for their accomplished man-marking job on Kerry's 'Twin Towers' in the 2008 All-Ireland final.

27. Martin Dunne (Tipperary)

'The most committed man on the Tipp panel,' selector Shane Stapleton paid tribute to the Moyle Rovers clubman following his inter-county departure.

28. Aidan Carr (Down)

The Clonduff clubman's adaptability (wing-back, midfield or wing-forward) was crucial for Down during his 11-year inter-county career.

29. Stephen Gollogly (Monaghan)

With a county career that spanned 14 years in which he made 133 appearances, scoring 3-71, Gollogly owes the Farney County nothing.

30. Ken O'Halloran (Cork)

The Bishopstown goalkeeper leaves the inter-county scene with All-Ireland senior and U21 medals in his back pocket.

31. Ciaran McDonald (Tipperary)

The 28-year-old was considered to be in the top bracket of inter-county defenders until ongoing injury problems forced him to quit Liam Kearns' squad.

32. Joe Sheridan (Meath)

Sheridan's Meath career looked done when he was dropped by Mick O'Dowd in 2013, only to make a comeback as a goalkeeper this season.

33. Brendan Kealy (Kerry)

Kealy made a surprise mid-season exit from Eamonn Fitzmaurice's squad after falling out of favour and has since taken up a coaching role with Offaly.

34. Michael Meehan (Galway)

Unmarkable on his day, injuries plagued the classy Caltra forward throughout his career and forced him into retirement for a second time in four years.

35. Finian Hanley (Galway)

A commanding presence at the heart of the Galway defence, Hanley represented the Tribesmen for 15 seasons.

36. Stephen Clynch (Meath)

Clynch is his county's most decorated hurler having tasted Christy Ring Cup success last year, in addition to winning five Kehoe Cup medals and a Nicky Rackard Cup title.

37. Brendan Bugler (Clare)

A leading member of the 2013 All-Ireland winning Clare team, the 32-year-old Whitegate clubman was a rock in defence for over 11 seasons.

38. Cyril Donnellan (Galway)

Donnellan brought an end to his inter-county playing days on a high note, helping the Tribesmen to All-Ireland glory for the first time in almost three decades.

39. Colin Ryan (Clare)

After taking a year out from inter-county hurling, the deadly accurate free-taker took to twitter to confirm his retirement.

40. Patrick Donnellan (Clare)

The sight of the O'Callaghan Mills stalwart lifting the Liam MacCarthy Cup in 2013 will remain with Banner County fans for a very long time.

41. Darach Honan (Clare)

Honan became the fourth Clare hurler to retire in October, following in the footsteps of 2013 All-Ireland team-mates Bugler, Ryan and Donnellan.

42. Kieran Joyce (Kilkenny)

The Rower-Insitioge powerhouse worked tirelessly in the Cats back-line and pocketed four All-Ireland medals in five years (2011, '12, '14 and '15).

43. James Ryan (Limerick)

The Treaty County captain parted ways with John Kiely's set-up last month and the 2013 Munster final victory over Cork was arguably his best game in the green jersey.

44. Darren Gleeson (Tipperary)

An understudy to Brendan Cummins for many years, Gleeson made the Tipp number 1 jersey his own in 2014 and went on to collect two Celtic Crosses.

45. David O'Callaghan (Dublin)

Dublin waved farewell to one of its finest ever hurlers at the end of this season when 'Dotsy' decided to hang up his inter-county boots.

46. Gavin O'Mahony (Limerick)

O'Mahony was a regular for the Treaty County in defence and midfield ever since his debut 10 year ago.

47. John O'Keeffe (Tipperary)

O'Keeffe served the Tipperary seniors for up to five years and was part of the 2016 side that won the All-Ireland.

48. Brendan Murtagh (Westmeath)

The Clonkill veteran had the distinction of being the longest-serving inter-county hurler, making his debut as a minor in 2001.

49. Paul Shiels (Antrim)

'Shorty' called it quits with the Saffrons just weeks after helping Dunloy to their first county title in eight years.

50. John Griffin (Kerry)

'Tweek' was involved in both of the Kingdom's Christy Ring Cup successes in 2011 and 2015, captaining them to their second title.

51. Kieran Bergin (Tipperary)

The Killenaule dual-star left the Tipp hurling panel in April and joined the county footballers but his move to the big ball code proved shortlived.

52. Shane Prendergast (Kilkenny)

Prendergast decided not to commit to Brian Cody's squad next year having been involved since 2014.

53. Michael Fennelly (Kilkenny)

A tower of strength for the Cats during a glorious career which spanned 12 seasons, the eight time All-Ireland winner is the most recent inter-county player to retire.

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