Joe McMahon: Tyrone star retires from inter-county duty after long injury battle

Joe McMahon has a difference of opinion with Kerry's Tommy Walsh in the 2008 final
McMahon won All-Ireland medals in 2005 and 2008 when Kerry were the opponents on both occasions

Tyrone star Joe McMahon has announced his retirement from inter-county football at the age of 33 after a long battle with injury.

In a statement, McMahon said his "injuries over the last two years and the struggle to respond to treatment...compelled me to call time".

"I have pushed myself to the limits working closely with the Tyrone medical team," added the versatile McMahon.

"I have to accept the reality that my body is saying it's game over."

McMahon has been badly affected by a groin injury over the past couple of seasons and he opted out of the squad for a period in the early part of last year.

McMahon's Tyrone debut in 2004

The Omagh St Enda's clubman made his Tyrone debut in the 2004 Dr McKenna Cup final against Donegal and won his first All-Ireland medal 20 months later as the Red Hands beat Kerry.

Three years later, McMahon clinched a second All-Ireland medal as the Kingdom were defeated again in the Croke Park showpiece.

McMahon and his brother Justin were particularly impressive in Tyrone's 2008 campaign.

While Justin was named in the 2008 All-Star team, Joe missed out and despite being nominated again in 2011, his career remained without that particular honour.

Mickey Harte with Joe McMahon after Tyrone's All-Ireland qualifier against Armagh in 2011
Mickey Harte was Tyrone manager for McMahon's entire Red Hands career

McMahon pays tribute to Mickey Harte

In his statement, McMahon said that he was "very fortunate to have played with and against some of the greatest players to have graced the game" and paid tribute to Tyrone boss Mickey Harte, whom he described as "one of the GAA's greatest managers".

"I must mention my children Aoibhe, Anna and Joseph, my parents, family, friends and my club Omagh St Enda's, my former schools Omagh CBS and St Conor's PS and St Mary's College Belfast.

"I acknowledge the support of the Tyrone backroom teams and the friendship of Mickey Moynagh over the years. The GPA has also been a great help in time of need."

McMahon also paid tribute to the "elements that make Tyrone such a passionate county for its football - the county board, Club Tyrone and the loyal supporters".

"I thank all of them for the generosity of their time and resources and for the brilliant memories shared.

"I wish all my colleagues in the 2017 squad every success for the championship ahead. I say to them, enjoy all your days with Tyrone. There is no greater honour than pulling on the jersey."

McMahon also won four Ulster senior medals with Tyrone in addition to a Division Two Football League medal last year.

He was also part of Tyrone's Ulster and All-Ireland winning minor team in 2001 and helped Tyrone lift the Ulster Under-21 title in 2002 and 2003.

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