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Rare medical condition forces Down's Marty Clarke to retire aged 29

The former Down footballer has been forced to call time on his career on the back of medical advice.

Marty Clarke during the 2010 All-Ireland semi-final.
Marty Clarke during the 2010 All-Ireland semi-final.
Image: Lorraine O'Sullivan/INPHO

FORMER DOWN STAR Marty Clarke has retired from Gaelic football due to a medical condition.

The 29-year-old was diagnosed with Addison’s Disease — a disorder which results in the adrenal glands not producing enough steroid hormones – three years ago. It affects only one in every 100,000 people.

And this morning The Irish News is reporting that the An Ríocht clubman has been advised to stop playing all competitive sport.

Clarke had a hugely successful stint with Aussie Rules team Collingwood — winning 73 caps — between 2007 and 2009 before returning to the Mourne County, helping them reach the All-Ireland final in 2010.

Martin Clarke Clarke training with Collingwood. Source: Getty Images/INPHO

He returned to Australia and Collingwood in 2011 and it was there he was diagnosed with Addison’s.

Clarke came back to Ireland in 2014, but did not play for Down again.

He did, however, line up against his county while playing for Queen’s in the McKenna Cup this January.

His last game was Queen’s Sigerson Cup loss to DCU.

“I made the decision because of the stress it’s putting me under,” Clarke told the Irish News.

“The dynamic nature of gaelic football, where you’re running, jumping, I was putting my body under a lot of stress.

“I just felt completely zapped from the start of the game to the finish. When I got home it was taking me longer and longer to recover.

Clarke won an All-Star for his performances in 2010 and also has an Ulster U21 Football Championship and All-Ireland Minor Championship to his name. Both came in 2005.

 

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About the author:

Steve O'Rourke

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