Bryan Sheehan will retire from inter-county football with five All-Ireland medals and a monumental haul of 6-161 across 66 championship games. It was a superb career that deservedly has been recognised nationally in the days since his announcement.
Nowhere have the plaudits been more forthcoming than in his own county of Kerry. Sheehan appeared on Radio Kerry's 'Terrace Talk' with Tim Moynihan. Famed for his immaculate free-taking, Sheehan revealed he was capable of kicking a full 45' since he was 14 years of age.
The highlight of the interview came when Kerry legend Maurice Fitzgerald rang into the programme to add his compliments to Sheehan's career. Fitzgerald is a club-mate of Sheehan's and was a selector in the Kerry squad during his final year of involvement.
So I just wanted to ring in there because I suppose it's when you see him up close which I have, since he was a young fella. In fact, Ned rang me earlier today, Ned being my dad, he would be a great follower of Brian over the years. He said he's probably the finest player that ever dawned the green and gold, the Mary's jersey and South Kerry, so we'll be having our own argument about that!
Fitzgerald labelled Sheehan "the dream ticket to have in the dressing room" and a "standard bearer" in his conduct for club and county.
I don't think there has been a better County Championship player than Byran Sheehan, and that's not just during my time.
Outside of Kerry, Sheehan is recognised for his placed ball ability, often to the determent of his other capabilities. In 2010, as Kerry moved to fill the considerable void left by Darragh O'Se few would have touted Sheehan to assume that midfield mantle. He came into the team in 2005 as a replacement for Mike Frank Russell in corner-forward yet transitioned out the field.
In 2011 he gave several exhibitions in the art of selfless midfield displays and drove the Kingdom to the All-Ireland final. He was rewarded with an All-Star that year for his efforts.
With his skill, accuracy, heart and endurance Sheehan epitomised Kerry's spirit. Injuries and an inability to identify his best position often made it hard for him to get a consistent run of games. Despite that, he was always reliable when called upon.
Only one fella catching this. Congrats on an brilliant career in the green and gold @bryansheehan . Far more than one the best dead ball kickers ever to grace the football fields of Ireland. Many a hiding I got a club level, couldn't take an eye off you for a second and you would be punished. Captain of Kerry at every age group. One thing I am glad of is I can now get changed in peace and not be on the receiving end of your ankle strapping missiles.
He was also known to be a positive influence on the dressing room and captained Kerry in both 2010 and 2016.
Congrats and good luck to @BryanSheehan9 on his retirement. Missiles on the field , missiles across the dressing room, good craic.
— paul galvin (@pgal10) November 20, 2017
It was a terrific career for one of Kerry's greats.
The entire interview is well worth a listen and can be found here.