Karl Lacey: 2012 Footballer of the Year retires from Donegal duty
Donegal footballer Karl Lacey has announced his retirement from the inter-county game.
Lacey was named Footballer of the Year in 2012 after helping Donegal clinch the All-Ireland title.
Since then, the Four Masters clubman's career has been badly affected by injury although he helped the county reach the 2014 All-Ireland decider.
"I am thankful for the opportunities given to me," said Lacey, 32, who made his Donegal debut in 2004.
"I have experienced almost everything with the Donegal footballers over these past 14 seasons and more, from desperate defeats to the crowning glory winning the Sam Maguire in 2012 and everything in between.
"They are games and days and friendships that will live with me forever.
"I am grateful to the players who played alongside me and the coaches who guided me throughout it.
"With them, I was able to win League, Ulster, All-Ireland and individual honours, and for that I very thankful. In addition to my time with Donegal, I was honoured to be selected for my country and play in the 2006 and 2011 International Rules series."
Four-times All Star Lacey, who jointly holds the record of 65 Donegal championship appearances with Christy Toye, will continue to play for Four Masters at club level.
A statement from the Donegal GAA board paid tribute to Lacey's contribution to the county over his 14 seasons at senior level.
"Donegal's most decorated footballer, Karl has been a tremendous ambassador for the county throughout that time, and was rightly honoured with 4 All Star awards and the ultimate Footballer of the Year award in 2012," said the board statement.
"As well as playing with the seniors this year, Karl also served as a strength and conditioning coach with the county under-age development squads.
"We are delighted that he is giving the benefit of his experience to the next generation of Donegal footballers."