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With two Ulster medals, the longest-serving inter-county Gaelic footballer has retired

The Monaghan midfielder won Ulster medals in 2013 and 2015

Dick Clerkin celebrates at the final whistle Clerkin plays his club football with Currin. Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

THE LONGEST-SERVING inter-county Gaelic footballer in the country has announced his retirement.

Monaghan’s Dick Clerkin was the last player still in action to have made his inter-county debut in the 90′s, first lining out in the league for his county in the winter of 1999.

Clerkin made the announcement this morning in an excellent column written in the Irish Examiner newspaper.

The 34 year-old made 179 appearances for the county and in recent years, he finally enjoyed major success in Ulster, winning the 2013 and 2015 provincial senior football titles.

Clerkin paid tribute in his column to Monaghan’s achievements despite limited resources.

“I have witnessed a remarkable transformation in the psyche of Monaghan football during my career.

“Motivated by pride, sustained by hard work, validated with success. I am not going to patronise with thanks the countless people who have contributed to making Monaghan football what it is today.

“Striking an almost perfect balance between club and county, Monaghan football and all those responsible, should be held up as a shining example of what can be achieved with relatively limited resources.

“Supporters, administrators, sponsors, and mentors, all with a like-minded sense of duty and passion, for something bigger than ourselves.”

His last appearance in Monaghan colours was during their drawn Ulster semi-final with Donegal on 25 June at Kingspan Breffni Park. He came on as a substitute in that game but did not see game time in the replay or their subsequent shock qualifier loss to Longford.

With two Ulster medals, the longest-serving inter-county Gaelic footballer has retired
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  • Escorting a dog off the pitch in a 2008 league game against Cavan

    Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO
  • Celebrating hitting the net against Derry in 2008

    Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO
  • Up against Cork in the 2009 National football league final

    Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO
  • Celebrating a 2009 qualifier win over Armagh with Banty

    Source: James Crombie/INPHO
  • Tussling off the ball with Sean Cavanagh in 2011

    Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO
  • Head to head in 2010 with Paul Galvin

    Source: James Crombie
  • The agony of missing a scoring chance against Down n 2012

    Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO
  • Huge satisfaction after the 2013 Ulster semi-final win over Cavan

    Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO
  • In action against Diarmuid Connolly in the 2014 All-Ireland quarter-final

    Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO
  • Celebrating Monaghan's 2015 Ulster title win

    Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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