Colm Cooper: Kerry football star ends 15-year intercounty career

Colm Cooper fired in
Cooper won his first All-Ireland Club medal as his goal helped Dr Crokes beat Slaughtneil last month

Kerry football great Colm Cooper has announced his retirement from intercounty football.

Cooper's decision was widely expected after he helped Dr Crokes win the All-Ireland Club title last month.

The All-Ireland club medal completed all the list of major honours available to the eight-time Allstar.

Cooper, now 33, made his Kerry senior debut in 2002 and played in four All-Ireland winning teams and helped his county win four National League titles.

That included a Division Two title in his debut season with the Kingdom.

Cooper, who was nicknamed the Gooch, scored a remarkable tally of 23 goals and 283 points in his 85 championship games for Kerry and has to be regarded as one of the greatest forwards in gaelic football history.

Colm Cooper lifts the Sam Maguire Cup in 2014 when he didn't feature for the county because of injury
Colm Cooper played on four All-Ireland winning Kerry teams

'Exemplary sportman'

A statement from Kerry GAA described Cooper as "an exemplary sportsman".

"He endeared himself not only to the Kerry faithful but also to the wider GAA community where he was the perfect role model for our youth," added the statement.

Cooper described his his career as "an amazing journey and one that I never wanted to end".

"However, I feel that this is the right time for me to step away from intercounty football," said the Dr Crokes star.

Brian O'Driscoll on twitter
Brian O'Driscoll pays tribute to Colm Cooper

"To my Kerry team-mates 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."

Cooper added that he was "fortunate to work with some outstanding Kerry managers" and also thanked the Kerry county board and fans for their support.

The 33-year-old added that he will continue to play for his club.

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