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Dublin: 13 °C Thursday 18 October, 2018
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Eight-time Connacht champion Alan Dillon calls time on his Mayo career

‘I stand here at the end of this ride, knowing I gave it my all.’

FORMER MAYO CAPTAIN Alan Dillon has confirmed his retirement from inter-county football.

Alan Dillon. Mayo footballer Alan Dillon. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

With 134 appearances in the green and red jersey under his belt, the Ballintubber man enjoyed a fruitful career in which he won eight Connacht titles and two All-Star accolades in 2006 and 2012.

Of those 134 appearances, 66 of them were in championship and he scored 3-225 in total. In 2011, he captained the Westerners to provincial glory.

Dillon made his minor debut in 1999, and won two minor Connacht champions and two more at U21 level. He made his senior championship debut in 2003 against Sligo and played in six All-Ireland senior finals.

Dillon, who’s also won three senior county titles with Balintubber, released this statement through Mayo GAA this morning:

“Everyone has their time and my time has come… Today I wish to announce my inter-county retirement from the Mayo senior football team.

Alan Dillon lifts the cup Dillon lifts the Connacht title in 2011. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

“Playing the game, representing this team, giving my all and never letting go has meant everything to me. If asked to write a script for my career back in 2003, there is no way I would’ve been able to imagine this journey but now I feel it’s the right time to step away.

“The wins and losses will be remembered, but what I’ll remember most are all my team-mates who I can never give enough credit to from over the years. I have played with some of the best players to ever line out in the red and green of Mayo and have also had the honour of captaining this great county.

“I was very fortunate to have played under so many fantastic Mayo managers all of whom contributed greatly to my career and I would like to extend my sincere thanks to them all for putting faith in me as a footballer.

“Thank you to the people of Mayo for all your support over these years in the good and challenging times. It’s been a humbling experience and made me realise how lucky and privileged I am. I would also like to thank Mayo county board and all the selectors, trainers, backroom staff and medical teams who pushed me and held me together on and off the field.

“I will always be eternally grateful to my club Ballintubber GAA. Their backing has enabled me to compete at the very highest level and follow my boyhood dream of playing for Mayo.

Kevin McStay with Mayo's Alan Dillon Dillon with Roscommon manager Kevin McStay during this year's championship. Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

“I wish to thank the GPA for their continued support on behalf of myself and inter-county players all over the country.

“Finally to my wife Ashling, my parents Gerry and Eileen, brother Gary, sister Lisa and close family and friends, I sincerely thank you for your understanding, loyalty and support. I will be forever grateful for all you have done.

“The sense of genuine pride every time I got from wearing the Mayo jersey and representing this county I love will live with me forever. I stand here at the end of this ride, knowing I gave it my all.

“I look forward to my next chapter and know that I have been blessed in so many ways to have experienced what I have. I will continue to support this talented Mayo team for the years ahead and would like to wish the current manager Stephen Rochford and his team the very best for the coming season.

“Maigheo Abu.”

Mayo manager Stephen Rochford added:

“Alan’s talent was evident from a very young age and he was rightly heralded as a future star by his mid teens. There was huge versatility to his game.

“And all of this underpinned by a powerful determination, and an unyielding desire to win and to progress, that he showed each and every time he put on the Ballintubber or Mayo jersey. Alan Dillon won the admiration of GAA fans from all over Ireland and he leaves the inter-county stage with his head held high.

“As Mayo manager for the past two seasons, it has been a pleasure to work with him and I know that he will continue to make a telling contribution to his club and county in the years ahead. On behalf of the Mayo team and management, I wish him the very best.”

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