Ciaran McKeever: Armagh defender retires from inter-county game

Ciaran McKeever lifts the Football League Division Three trophy in 2015 after Armagh beat Fermanagh in the final
Ciaran McKeever lifts the Football League Division Three trophy in 2015 after Armagh beat Fermanagh in the final

Armagh defender Ciaran McKeever has announced his retirement from inter-county football after 14 years with the Orchard county.

The 34-year-old, who captained the team for six years, has struggled with a knee injury.

McKeever won four Ulster titles and played in three International Rules series for Ireland.

"It's has been a great honour to play for Armagh and this is not a decision I have arrived at lightly," he said.

McKeever captained Armagh to All-Ireland U21 glory and won Division One and Division Three titles with the county.

"It was always my dream to represent Armagh growing up so it's with a heavy heart that I announce my retirement from inter-county football," added the St Patrick's Cullyhanna clubman.

"Having met with Kieran McGeeney at the end of 2016 after undergoing two operations, I was unsure of my inter-county future but we decided to try and get the body right for one more year. I believe the time is now right to call it a day.

"My journey as a county player has been truly wonderful - it has been a privilege to have been involved with such an incredible group of footballers.

"I am very fortunate to have tasted the ultimate success at international, provincial and county level and captaining Armagh's U21s to All-Ireland success in 2004 was a special highlight.

"I'd like to pay special thanks to Kieran McGeeney, who I always looked up to as a youngster from my days travelling to watch Armagh play.

"When I joined the squad in 2003, he took me under his wing and helped me develop as a player, he taught me what commitment and values were required to play for Armagh and I'm glad my journey has ended under his watch."

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