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Dublin: 9°C Tuesday 15 June 2021

Dublin legend Bernard Brogan announces retirement from inter-county football

Seven-time All-Ireland winner calls it a day with the Dubs.

Bernard Brogan (file pic).
Bernard Brogan (file pic).
Image: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

DUBLIN GAA legend Bernard Brogan has confirmed he is retiring from inter-county football.

The 35-year-old, who made his championship debut in 2007, announced the news on a statement on Twitter.

He recalled “15 amazing years” representing the Dubs in which he won seven senior All-Ireland football titles, four All-Stars, and the 2010 Footballer of the Year award.

The St Oliver Plunketts/Eoghan Ruadh man is widely regarded as a key figure in a Dublin side that has been a dominant force in GAA for a number of years, beginning in 2011 when Brogan helped the side capture their first All-Ireland since 1995.

Part of a distinguished sporting family, with his brothers Alan and Paul former Dublin players, while his father Bernard Senior and uncle Jim also lined out for the county.

In addition to his All-Ireland successes, Brogan was also part of 13 Leinster SFC triumphs and five National Football League wins.

The star’s statement in full reads: “After 15 amazing years on the road, now is the right time for me to hang up the boots and retire from Dublin inter-county football.

“My GAA career has always been about the journey, not the destination. I have learnt more from the losses than from the wins, more about myself in times of challenge and injury than in times of success.

“I have built lifelong friendships — forged on what we call our battlefield. I will cherish all these memories, and speak about them for a lifetime but not without mentioning those who raised me upward and onward along the way — whose support I couldn’t have done without.

“Mam and Dad you walked a thousand side lines to support your three sons, a constant source of encouragement in football and in life. We walk on the shoulders of giants, and Dad, your journey before ours spurred and drove us on to try emulate your success. My brothers, Alan and Paul — who can say they shared their first All-Ireland success with their only siblings. To get it over the line together in 2011 is something we will look back on and value even more as time goes by. You have both been huge sources of energy for me and driven me on at times when I needed it most.

“To Pillar for taking a chance on me, Pat for pushing and moulding me into the footballer I always wanted to be, and to Jim for the education and amazing journey we have had over the last number of years. You all know your impact — and I am forever grateful for our time together.

To the many members of backroom teams I have had the pleasure of learning from and working with — your values, support and guidance to the many groups of young men in your care over the years has more impact than you’ll ever know. You are the backbone of us all, and I cannot thank you enough — great people, true blues.

“To my business partner & cousin James and my workmates in Legacy, Peptalk and my public house colleagues in Brogans & Lilly’s — thank you — you’ll see me around a lot more now! My extended family for your support and keeping us all connected during those summer Sundays. To all my friends at home for your loyalty and understanding when I have missed so much.

“The GAA community has given me so much — there are too many to note, but thank you to those in the Dublin County Board for getting me to where I am — for your investment in youth, you have set the standard of high performance. St Oliver Plunketts ER for the environment to grow and learn, looking forward to more time with you, maybe even the small ball too.

“To the Dublin supporters and Hill 16, thank you for the unwavering support during my time playing in blue and never giving up on me in a blue jersey. I have always claimed that you are the greatest fans in the world and you were my last wave walking out of Croke Park.

To the many Dubs I was lucky enough to call my team-mates — thank you all, you are the reason I kept coming back, match days are always great but my memories off the pitch will burn so much brighter. The friendship, the craic, the stories and trips — you changed the game, our time together will be hard to replace, I hope your success continues. I always liked to play the game with a smile. It was when I felt I played my best. I will leave with that smile still there, safe in the knowledge that the jersey is in safe hands.

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“I’d also like to thank Paul Flynn and his team in the GPA for their continued support and advocacy on behalf of Gaelic Players all over the country.

“Finally, to my wife Keira, for all of your support, patience and counsel over the years; I know we have missed so many special moments and you have carried the load to facilitate endless nights of training and commitments I made on the part of us both. Our beautiful boys and I are so lucky to have you and I cannot thank you enough for the loyalty and commitment to us as a family, and to me and my Dublin dream. 

“I gave my all for the cause right to the end and I am happy now to take my place in the stand, back to where it all began for me as a child with my own Father — cheering on the Dubs. I look forward to these same moments with Donagh and Keadan. Onto the next Journey.

“Up the Dubs!”

About the author:

Paul Fennessy

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