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'The battery didn't last too long on my phone the day I tweeted my fake retirement' - Keith Higgins

And the Mayo man worries he won’t be believed when he actually hangs up his boots.

Keith Higgins couldn't believe how quickly his retirement tweet took off.
Keith Higgins couldn't believe how quickly his retirement tweet took off.
Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

IT WAS A tweet that sent shockwaves throughout Gaelic football, and not just in Mayo but across Ireland. On 27 December, Keith Higgins announced he was “calling it a day.”

Higgins is, of course, one of Mayo’s most acclaimed stars — in 2006, he won a Young Footballer of the Year All Star, which was followed by two GAA GPA All Star Awards in 2012 and 2013.

However, it was later proven to be all a prank.

“I did [send it myself] yeah… It was a bit of fun at the time. I didn’t think it would go as big as it did.

“The battery didn’t last too long on the phone that day. It was a bit of the phone at the time.

“Yeah at the time it was a bit of craic and I threw it up and the lads were laughing and joking and the next thing the phone starting hopping and I said ‘Jesus I have to take this down’ but the lads didn’t let me for a while.

“So a couple of hours later I said enough is enough. So I just clarified things.”

And Higgins admits it might be a case of the boy who cried wolf when the time does come to hang up his boots.

“Yeah no one will believe me. Hopefully that won’t be for a while yet.

However, luckily for him, the Mayo management didn’t pay it much heed.

“No. I was chatting to Pat [Holmes] maybe three or four days later and he hadn’t seen anything about it but I didn’t ask him too many questions. I left it at that.”

Pat Holmes and Noel Connelly Pat Holmes and Noel Connelly have taken charge of Mayo. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Speaking of the Westerners’ management, Higgins admits it will take a bit of time for the new team of Holmes and Noel Connelly to make their Mark, especially after four years of James Horan.

“It’s been good yeah. It’s like anything, when a new management comes in it takes a while for them to get used to things as well. Coming from having four years with James we got used to the set up and his way of doing things.

“That’s the way it goes. You just have to get used to it and it probably took everyone a few weeks to find their feet but it is going well so far.

“In fairness to James he put a very good set up in place. There was a good structure around him, the players bought into that really. The onus is on the players to set that standard again and hopefully we’ll be able to do that. We’ll see how it goes.”

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Steve O'Rourke

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