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Mickey Harte's 18-year reign as Tyrone manager has come to an end

The Red Hand won three All-Ireland titles under his watch.

Wave goodbye: Mickey Harte.
Wave goodbye: Mickey Harte.
Image: Evan Logan/INPHO

MICKEY HARTE’S REIGN as Tyrone senior football manager has come to an end.

While the Red Hand are yet to officially confirm the news, his exit is being widely reported tonight — the Irish News first with the story, with RTÉ following suit.

Having taken over ahead of the 2003 season, Harte was the longest-serving manager in inter-county football before he stood down. During his 18 years at the helm, he delivered three All-Ireland crowns, six Ulster championship titles and one National League honour to the county.

The county also enjoyed plenty of success at minor and U21 level under the Errigal Ciarán clubman’s watch.

Speculation on Harte’s future grew this week after reports from the Ulster Herald and the BBC noted that he had a request for a one-year extension to his stay rejected by the county board.

“I respect the outcome of these meetings and that’s it’s time to reflect on what happened and leave the present to unfold itself,” Harte told The Irish Examiner tonight.

I always say that I feel privileged ever to have been a manager of any Tyrone team. To get through the minors, the under-21s and seniors for so long is an absolute privilege and I would never look at it in any other way.

“That’s how I leave things, I am privileged to have been given the opportunities I have been given and I did my best every year I was there.”

The 68-year-old was given a new three-year term ahead of the 2018 season, but that came to a close as Tyrone suffered an Ulster quarter-final defeat to Donegal earlier this month.

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“You’re talking about a man who has done everything for Tyrone and what he has achieved is phenomenal,” former Kerry defender Marc O Sé said recently on The42 GAA Weekly podcast. “But he’s been there a long time… I’d be looking for a change.”

Tyrone last reached the All-Ireland final in 2018, falling to a six-point defeat to Dublin, before they exited the championship at the semi-final stage last year.

They bowed out at the first hurdle this year following a two-point loss in Ballybofey.

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