NINE-TIME KILKENNY All-Ireland senior hurling winner Jackie Tyrrell has announced his retirement from the inter-county game.
In a statement released to The42 this morning, the James Stephens man outlined his reasons for bringing the curtain down on a glittering career with the Cats. He is set to continue playing hurling for his club.
He reflected on ‘the privilege of playing with and against some of the greatest sportsmen of our time’ while also paying tribute to Brian Cody, who he described as ‘the greatest GAA manager of all time’.
The 34 year-old made his senior championship debut in 2005 for Kilkenny against Offaly in a Leinster clash in Croke Park. As well as winning nine All-Ireland senior medals, he captained Kilkenny to lift the Liam MacCarthy Cup in 2006.
In recent seasons he battled injuries with his last championship appearance coming in the 2015 Leinster final win over Galway. The defender was part of the Kilkenny squad that lost out in September’s All-Ireland final against Tipperary.
He has enjoyed a remarkable career, winning a huge array of titles with different teams.
- 9 All-Ireland SHC – 2003, 2006-09, 2011-12, 2014-15
- 10 Leinster SHC – 2003, 2005-11, 2014-15
- 6 National League – 2005-06, 2009, 2012-14
- 4 All-Stars – 2007-10
- 4 Walsh Cup – 2005-06, 2012, 2014
- 1 All-Ireland U21HC – 2003
- 1 Leinster U21HC – 2003
- 1 Leinster MHC – 1999
- 1 All-Ireland Club SHC – 2005
- 1 Leinster Club SHC – 2004
- 3 Kilkenny SHC – 2004, 2005, 2011
- 1 Féile na nGael – 1996
- 2 Kilkenny SFC – 2003, 2008
- 1 Kilkenny JHC – 1999
- 2 Kilkenny U21HC – 2000, 2002
- 4 Railway Cup – 2006, 2008-09, 2012
- 1 All-Ireland Colleges SHC – 2000
- 2 Fitzgibbon Cup – 2005, 2007
The full statement reads:
“After careful consideration and reflection I have decided that now is the right time for me to announce my retirement from inter county hurling with the Kilkenny senior hurling team.
“I am making this decision comfortable in the knowledge that I never settled for anything less than giving it my very best. I fought to the end and I never gave up until the contest was over.
“Being part of the Kilkenny senior hurling panel for the past fourteen years has been an unbelievable journey that has given me endless fulfilment, satisfaction, enjoyment and happiness. I have had the privilege of playing with and against some of the greatest sportsmen of our time.
“I cherish the friendships I have made all over the country. There were many challenges along the way but these became my opportunities and motivation to strive even harder to achieve my very best.
“My parents, my sisters and brother and my girlfriend, Clare, have been my greatest inspiration and encouragement on my journey and no words can express my gratitude to them.
“I consider myself lucky to have played under the greatest GAA manager of all time, Brian Cody. I thank him and his management teams for their confidence in me right up to the present time. I wish them and the Kilkenny panel the very best in the future.
“I also wish to thank Ned Quinn and the Kilkenny County Board, the Kilkenny Supporters Club, the GPA and the countless Kilkenny fans, each who in their own way encouraged me every step of the way during my intercounty career.
“My employer, Glanbia, have accommodated me in every way possible over the years and for that I am very grateful.
“I also wish to acknowledge and thank Br. Damien Brennan for his role in my development as player and as a person. He challenged me to embrace my talents in order to bring my best to every situation and achieve things I would have never thought possible.
“I now intend to dedicate myself and the rest of my playing career to my beloved James Stephen’s. It was there that my desire to play the game that I love at the highest level was nurtured and developed.
“Today is not the end but the continuation of a journey, a new beginning, which I intend to fully embrace knowing now that any realistic dream can become a reality.”
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