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Dublin: 1°C Friday 7 May 2021

Two-time All-Ireland winning Tipperary captain retires from inter-county football

A real leader on and off the pitch, Samantha Lambert bows out with three Celtic Crosses.

Samantha Lambert and her team-mates celebrating the 2017 win.
Samantha Lambert and her team-mates celebrating the 2017 win.
Image: Cody Glenn/SPORTSFILE

TIPPERARY’S TWO-TIME ALL-IRELAND winning captain Samantha Lambert has retired from inter-county football.

The Ardfinnan defender bows out with three All-Ireland intermediate medals to her name — two of those coming as captain in 2017 and 2019, having climbed the steps of the Hogan Stand to lift the Mary Quinn Memorial Cup, and the other coming at the tender age of 16 in 2008.

From her role as a substitute that year — her debut season of 13 — Lambert soon flourished into one of the side’s key players and was ever-present at centre-half back.

A real leader on and off the pitch who has done so much for Tipperary ladies football, Lambert has been a key figure through the county’s meteoric rise over the last few years.

She’s been instrumental through the climb to the senior ranks and league journey from Division 3 to Division 1, helping deliver four national titles in the last four years under the watchful eye of Shane Ronayne. 

samantha-lambert-lifts-the-mary-quinn-memorial-cup Lifting the trophy in 2019. Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

But like Ronayne, Lambert won’t be involved in the next chapter as All-Ireland winning hurling captain Declan Carr takes the reins.

In an interview with Tipperary Live, she delved deeper into the journey as a whole, touching on memories from through the years, making the retirement decision with her Dad and what’s next.

“It has been an absolute privilege not only to play for Tipperary but to also captain the team for the past four years,” she said. “It was always my dream to play football for Tipperary and sometimes dreams do come true.

“It’s been a journey that has been filled with both joy and heartache, but from that I’ve learned some key values in life – resilience, passion, determination and humility.”

samantha-lambert On the ball in the 2019 final. Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

A secondary school teacher at Comeragh College, Carrick-on-Suir, Lambert will continue lining out for her beloved Ardfinnan. “I owe it to give a fair bit back to the club, who have been so good to me, and give them the commitment I couldn’t give before,” she added.

Tipperary ladies football county board chairman Lar Roche led the tributes last night, with many others adding kind words for the retiring player.

“‘Samantha has been a fantastic captain, player and role model for Tipperary and I hope that she won’t go too far away from Tipperary Ladies Football,” he said.

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Tipperary GAA

Aisling McCarthy

Maria Curley

Laura Dillon

Ardfinnan GAA

Ciara O’Sullivan

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