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After 36 club title wins, ex-Armagh goalkeeper brings one of the most successful GAA careers to an end

Paul Hearty has hung up his boots.

Paul Hearty lifts the cup Paul Hearty lifts the trophy after their 2015 Ulster senior club football final. Source: Presseye/Declan Roughan/INPHO

ONE OF THE most successful GAA careers has been brought to an end with Armagh’s Paul Hearty announcing his decision to hang up his boots.

Hearty, who retired from Armagh duty in 2012, has brought a decorated club career with Crossmaglen Rangers to an end in the wake of their county semi-final loss last Saturday to Maghery.

The goalkeeper won an astonishing number of medals during his senior football career. With Armagh he was the understudy to Benny Tierney when they lifted their maiden All-Ireland title in 2002.

He finished up with six Ulster senior medals with Armagh and a national league medal.

Paul Hearty celebrates Paul Hearty in action for Armagh. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

But it was with Crossmaglen that he enjoyed a remarkable run of success with 19 Armagh and 11 Ulster victories, along with six All-Ireland club days of glory in 1997, 1999, 2000, 2007, 2011 and 2012.

His full retirement statement read:

“It is with a heavy heart that I announce my retirement from Gaelic football today. The time is right to call the curtain on my twenty three season career (1995-2017)

“In that time I have been blessed to have been part of a hugely successful career period for our club Crossmaglen Rangers. 19 Armagh titles, 11 Ulster club titles and 6 All-Ireland club titles is testament to the hard work, dedication and unbelievable commitment by all the players and management that have cycled through the club in this time.

Paul Hearty with his children Breanne and Oran and Stephen Kernan with his daughter Sophie with the Gerry Fagan Cup Paul Hearty with his children Breanne and Oran and Stephen Kernan with his daughter Sophie after the 2013 Armagh county final. Source: ©Russell Pritchard/Presseye

“Firstly I will start by thanking my family, my mother and late father for backing me all through the early years and then to my wife & children whose love, support and sacrifice throughout my career I will never forget.

“Thanks to all the management teams who took time to manage what is a very time consuming job, from Joe Kernan who had the courage to play a young 16-year-old as goalkeeper in his quest to secure a first county title in ten years for the club right through to Gareth O’Neill today.

“Thanks also to all the players I have played with past and present, the huge sacrifices that were made through the years to achieve something that will never be forgotten.

“Something I will miss very much will be sharing that changing room with some of the best friends you could ever hope ton have, the lifelong friends you make through the GAA is something to cherish and be proud of.”

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Fintan O'Toole

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