Nine All-Irelands. Seven All-Stars. A key part of Brian Cody-era Kilkenny.
JJ Delaney has announced his retirement from inter-county hurling via a statement on the Kilkenny GAA website.
I wish to announce that I am retiring from the Kilkenny senior hurling panel. I have enjoyed my time being part of such a talented group of players and management teams. I wish to thank Brian Cody and his selectors for allowing me to play hurling at the highest level. I also thank the Kilkenny county board for their support on and off the field. Thanks to The GPA they been a great help to my development in both my sporting and professional career.
My father, family, close friends and my girlfriend Aisling have been a huge source of encouragement and support to me over the years. I thank my club The Fenians, my former teachers and various coaches for instilling in me a love for the greatest field game in the world. It's been amazing the encouragement the Kilkenny supporters have given me down through the years and for this I thank you all. I am grateful to my employer Kingspan Insulation for their support.
I wish the Kilkenny senior hurling panel and management team continued success in the future.
Delaney becomes the fifth member of this year's All-Ireland winning Kilkenny panel to call it a day with the Cats. He follows Tommy Walsh, David Herity, Brian Hogan and Aidan Fogarty.
Tributes have already started rolling in for the 2003 Hurler of the Year.
Standing in a full back line with him the last few years worth more then an all Ireland itself. None greater! #JJ pic.twitter.com/bftgXPTFKi
— Paul Murphy (@PaulMurphykk) December 5, 2014
JJ is gone simply the best cleverest hoor ever to pick up a hurl phenomenal player @jjdel82
— Eddie Brennan (@NedzerB13) December 5, 2014
The greatest Kilkenny defender I ever played with @jjdel82 retires, was a pleasure to play beside and behind him #Leftside #ThatHook #Paw
— Jackie Tyrrell (@MrJackieTee) December 5, 2014
Another sad day for Kk and GAA fansOne of the greatest also -the hurl sometimes looked like a sword #hooks #catching #skill #zorro @jjdel82
— Michael Fennelly (@feno1000) December 5, 2014
KKs greatest defender ever has retired.. Best of luck @jjdel82. Saved my ass in matches and training the whole time! #JJ #TheGreatest
— Eoin Murphy (@eoinscruff) December 5, 2014