National Forum

Karl Lacey retires

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Karl is quite simply and rightly a legend of Donegal football. As others have already mentioned, his dedication and class were underlined by the fact that he was picking up All Stars when Donegal were under-achieving. He was laying waste to the game's best corner forwards before any blanket defence became en vogue. I can vividly remember him marking Paddy Bradley out of it one time, to the extent that he was taken off. Then he trotted over and repeated the dose on Skinner. This was in a championship qualifier too, and at a time when both Bradleys were lethal!

Rory Kavanagh also had special praise for him in his book. At a time when a lot of the Donegal panel were messing about, drinking and not taking things seriously enough, Karl was picking up All Stars and never once lost the rag with them. He would have been well within his rights to bollock them all out if it and say to hell with this. But thankfully he persevered and got the rewards and personal accolades he richly deserved.

In the last few years injuries and wear and tear have taken their toll. But it is a sign of the man that he kept at it. I have no doubt the younger lads would have learned a lot from him and I hope that Karl is kept on board in some capacity at county level in the coming years. His experience, attitude, football brain and all round class mean it'd be a travesty if he isn't.

For now though, enjoy the well earned rest buddy. You have another big match in September! ;-)
All the best.

Lockjaw (Donegal) - Posts: 5950 - 01/09/2017 09:22:25    2041477

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best of luck Karl. you leave a lot of people with very fond memories. you leave a lot with terrible memories also but thats as good of a compliment as any!!!!! that photo of him running away with the last ball in 2012 as the whistle went is an abiding memory for many and is in some ways a good analogy for the madness that donegal achieved. you could say he was the baby faced assassin with his youthful appearance

theweanling (Cavan) - Posts: 246 - 01/09/2017 09:28:51    2041478

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Great player , when Donegal defenders didn't need 14 players back helping each other out he won two all stars class player up their with any of the great defenders the last 30 years.


(Still think he robbed Colm McFadden of poty in '12 doh)

clondalkindub (Dublin) - Posts: 9109 - 01/09/2017 09:40:48    2041483

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I posted this on the Donegal forum...

I truly believe Karl is the greatest player to ever play for Donegal. Remember he won two all-stars as a man-marking corner back even before Jim McGuinness took over as manager. Sadly he got that hip injury shortly after the 2012 All-Ireland final and never fully recovered - he had to play 6 club games in 18 days, absolute madness. Before that injury I don't ever remember him having a bad game, his level of consistency was astounding. He also had a brilliant temperament and don't think he ever got sent off and was rarely booked. It was fitting that he won the POTY in 2012.

He also seems like a really nice guy, just kept his head down and got on with his game. A legend of Donegal football.

Green_Gold (Donegal) - Posts: 1235 - 01/09/2017 10:28:43    2041502

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His trademark tackle:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=skkMEkRFJlE

Lockjaw (Donegal) - Posts: 5950 - 01/09/2017 10:29:14    2041503

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Replying To clondalkindub:  "Great player , when Donegal defenders didn't need 14 players back helping each other out he won two all stars class player up their with any of the great defenders the last 30 years.


(Still think he robbed Colm McFadden of poty in '12 doh)"
Colm McFadden did have a remarkable season in 2012, no doubt about that. But I still think Karl deserved it that year, he had a great season and was involved in all the pivotal moments during that campaign.

Green_Gold (Donegal) - Posts: 1235 - 01/09/2017 10:34:27    2041506

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Replying To Green_Gold:  "Colm McFadden did have a remarkable season in 2012, no doubt about that. But I still think Karl deserved it that year, he had a great season and was involved in all the pivotal moments during that campaign."
Yep. I you rewatch the games from 2012 it was uncanny the amount of times the matches finished with Karl on the ball. He was our go to man at the decisive moments. The other players looked up to him and trusted him. I read a comment on Twitter from someone who said that when he saw Lacey charging up the field with the ball then you just knew the ball was going to go where it was meant to go. A great summation.

Lockjaw (Donegal) - Posts: 5950 - 01/09/2017 11:00:43    2041510

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Legend
Reminded me of 1970's Kevin Moran. Swashbuckling classy attacking half back in his pomp. Looked so comfortable on the ball.
A truly great great footballer.

Liamwalkinstown (Dublin) - Posts: 7957 - 01/09/2017 11:40:21    2041528

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Replying To Liamwalkinstown:  "Legend
Reminded me of 1970's Kevin Moran. Swashbuckling classy attacking half back in his pomp. Looked so comfortable on the ball.
A truly great great footballer."
You should see him for his club. Played in every position except for in goal for them I'd say.
Liam - did you see that Youtube link I put up earlier in the thread with his trademark tackle? I swear I once saw him do that in a club game and the forward ran on about 10 yards without realising he'd been robbed of the ball.

Lockjaw (Donegal) - Posts: 5950 - 01/09/2017 11:58:48    2041534

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That is gold Lockjaw!!!!!!!!!!!!!

When it comes to my favourite Donegal footballers, I always liked Declan Bonner. Simply because he was what he was. No apologies, just gimme the feckin ball and get out of my way! Tommy Dowd-ish! I always remember his post match "gerrritupya" fist pump in 92 after his last point.
Liked Brian Roper too.

Of the current set up, for all the talk about Murphy, McFadden, McBrearty etc, Lacey for me is miles ahead. Just such a class class act. IN football is there a better sight than a classy wing back striding forward with the ball under his arm? Think Paul Curran, Graham Geraghty, Tomas, James McCarthy, Lee Keegan and of course, Karl Lacey.
Brilliant baller

(just to balance this so any of ye dont think i am going soft, I cant stand devenney!!)

Liamwalkinstown (Dublin) - Posts: 7957 - 01/09/2017 12:50:50    2041562

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It's all been said here with some great comments. An absolute legend and Donegal's greatest in my opinion. The ball into Murphy for the goal in 2012 is a thing of absolute beauty.

We'll miss you Karl, here's hoping he decides to get into coaching. All the best!

JoeSoap (Donegal) - Posts: 682 - 04/09/2017 12:32:59    2042517

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Replying To clondalkindub:  "Great player , when Donegal defenders didn't need 14 players back helping each other out he won two all stars class player up their with any of the great defenders the last 30 years.


(Still think he robbed Colm McFadden of poty in '12 doh)"
For what it's worth I think McFadden should of got the POTY in 2012 too but think Lacey got the nod because he was the best player in Ireland in 2011 and was somehow overlooked when the 3 nominations were released that year.

Lacey was the best defender and possibily player Donegal have ever produced. Can only agree with all the praise mentioned on here already. His best individual performance for me came v Kildare in 2011 and to see how visibly shattered he was at the final whistle when he didn't even have the energy to stand let alone celebrate the win summed up the legend that is Karl Lacey for me. He just never gave up no matter what the score was. Lockjaw, not sure if you seen it, but even in his last game when Donegal were getting a tanking from Galway he pulled off one of his trademark tackles on Shane Walsh. Took Walsh a few strides to realise the ball wasn't there anymore too. It's not a skill you see that often anymore.

Mobot (Donegal) - Posts: 340 - 04/09/2017 14:40:57    2042566

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