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Gordon Kelly: one of the longest-serving defenders in inter-county football hangs up his boots

Veteran defender announces inter-county retirement at the age of 37.

Kelly: retires after 15 seasons.
Kelly: retires after 15 seasons.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

CLARE DEFENDER GORDON Kelly has announced his retirement from inter-county football.

Kelly, 37, made his league debut for the Banner’s footballers in February 2006 and served for 15 seasons in saffron and blue.

In that time, he helped Clare to a Munster final appearance in 2012 where they lost out against Cork, as well as an unforgettable Championship run in 2016 which ended with defeat to Kerry in the All-Ireland quarter-finals.

Kelly’s inter-county career also coincided with Clare’s rise through the ranks of the National Football League where, following six straight seasons in Division 4, he was part of the side that earned promotion to Division 3 in 2014 and then to Division 2 in 2016

The St Joseph’s Miltown Malbay clubman was “deemed as one of the toughest opponents by many forwards in the All-Ireland Football championship”, the Gaelic Players Association said today in a statement congratulating Kelly on his retirement.

In an interview earlier this year, Kerry star David Clifford said of Kelly: “He’s tough, he’s very experienced, he’s cute we’ll say… he’s been the toughest I’ve marked to be honest with you.”

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