Colm Cooper, Kerry’s four-time All-Ireland winner and one of the greatest forwards in anyone’s history, has retired from inter county football, a statement on the Kerry GAA website has confirmed.
According to The Irish Times, the 33-year-old Dr Crokes player has called time on a 14-year spell in the Kerry jersey having spent the winter considering his future while leading his club to All-Ireland glory on St Patrick’s Day.
Colm Cooper retires with four All-Ireland medals won on the field of play and though he was in and around the panel during his recuperation from a devastating knee injury in 2014, he played no on field part in Kerry’s latest All-Ireland triumph. He played in nine All-Ireland finals and was Kerry’s top scorer either on his own or jointly in seven of them. The only exceptions were his first, in 2002 as a 19-year-old and his last, in 2015 at 32.
“Today I wish to announce my retirement from the Kerry Senior Football team,” Colm Cooper said in a statement on the Kerry GAA website.
“It has been an amazing journey and one that I never wanted to end, however, I feel that this is the right time for me step away from inter county football. Representing the Kingdom for the past seventeen years has given me a tremendous amount of pride and satisfaction.
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“To my Kerry teammates that I have soldiered with throughout the years, thank you for your guidance, patience and friendship. I feel extremely lucky to have experienced so many wonderful highlights with you all.
“To get the opportunity to play with, and against, some of the greatest players in the history of the GAA has given me memories that I will always treasure.
“During my career I have been very fortunate to work with some outstanding Kerry managers. They gave me the confidence to develop my game which allowed me to perform at the highest level.
“I would like to thank the Kerry County Board, backroom staff and medical teams for their constant help and support throughout my career.
“A huge thank you to the loyal Kerry fans at home and abroad for their continuous support. I now become a supporter and wish the team all the best in their quest for honours in 2017.
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“I would like to thank my club Dr. Crokes for nurturing my talents and giving me the belief that there was no limit to what I could achieve, also to get the opportunity to Captain Kerry teams is something I’m extremely privileged to have done.
“I’m looking forward to continuing my Dr. Crokes career.
“Finally to my family, without you none of my successes would have been possible. Through the ups and downs, you were the people that believed in me and kept me going. For this I am forever grateful.
“It is very rare for people to achieve their ultimate dreams in life – I just have.”