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'I have to accept the reality' - Injury forces Tyrone All-Ireland winner McMahon to call it a day

The Omagh St-Enda’s man won All-Ireland senior medals in 2005 and 2008.

TYRONE FOOTBALLER JOE McMahon has brought the curtain down on an inter-county career that saw him win two All-Ireland senior medals.

Joe McMahon Joe McMahon has retired from Tyrone.

The 33-year-old has battled a groin injury in recent seasons and last played for the county in the 2015 All-Ireland semi-final loss to Kerry.

The Omagh St-Enda’s club man made his debut for Tyrone in 2004 and went to play in two Sam Maguire triumphs in the 2005 and 2008 final wins over Kerry.

McMahon won several honours during his Tyrone career:

  • 2 All-Ireland senior (2005, 2008)
  • 4 Ulster senior (2007, 2009, 2010, 2016)
  • 1 Division 2 football league (2016)
  • 1 All-Ireland minor (2001)
  • 1 Ulster minor (2001)
  • 2 Ulster U21 (2002, 2003)

Owen Mulligan and Joe McMahon Owen Mulligan and Joe McMahon celebrate Tyrone's 2008 final win Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

In a statement released by Tyrone GAA, McMahon revealed that he had to ‘accept the reality’ that injuries were forcing him to call time.

“The combination of injuries over the last two years and the struggle to respond to treatment to gain the fitness required at this level has compelled me to call time on my inter-county career.

“I have pushed myself to the limits working closely with the Tyrone medical team but I have to accept the reality that it is my body which is saying it’s game over.

“Hopefully though, I will still be able to play with my club, Omagh St Enda’s.

Eoin McCusker and Joe McMahon Joe McMahon (right) in action for Omagh St Enda's in 2011 Source: ©Russell Pritchard/Presseye

“I was very fortunate to have played with and against some of the greatest players to have graced the game and under one the GAA’s greatest managers, Mickey Harte.

Joe McMahon, Gregory Campbell and Mickey Harte Joe McMahon and Mickey Harte at a 2009 Stormont reception for Tyrone. Source: Presseye/Darren Kidd/INPHO

“I am so indebted to those who helped me along the way- my wife Geraldine and I must mention my children Aoibhe, Anna and Joseph, my parents, family, friends and my club Omagh St Enda’s, my former schools Omagh CBS and St Conor’s P.S and St Mary’s College Belfast.

“I acknowledge the support of the Tyrone backroom teams and the friendship of Mickey Moynagh over the years. The GPA has also been a great help in time of need.

“I can reflect now on the elements that make Tyrone such a passionate county for its football- the county board, Club Tyrone and the loyal supporters with their families.

“I thank all of them for the generosity of their time and resources and for the brilliant memories shared

“I wish all my colleagues in the 2017 squad every success for the championship ahead. I say to them, enjoy all your days with Tyrone. There is no greater honour than pulling on the jersey.”

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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