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DJ Carey Explains Why He Retired For Six Weeks In 1998

DJ Carey Explains Why He Retired For Six Weeks In 1998

In early 1998, less than a decade into his inter-county career and aged just 27, DJ Carey made the shock announcement that he was retiring from the black and amber of Kilkenny.

The retirement lasted just six weeks before Carey, at that point a two-time All-Ireland winner, reversed the decision.

"The fun was going out of it a bit," Carey told The Sunday Game regarding his initial decision to retire.

"I was running a business. On a Friday, you were leaving your own business and wondering where you'd get money on Monday morning to pay bills. On a Sunday, you were going out, hitting frees and thinking of Monday.

"The criticism... We have great supporters in Kilkenny but, by God, when you're not winning, when you're not up there - and particularly at that time - you were savaged.

"I was in the public eye. If you didn't score 1-8, 1-10, 1-11 in a game, the blame fell on me. I felt that pressure - that was huge at the time. It felt a little bit undeserved, really. You were going out to do your best, you played well or you didn't play well.

"I decided early in the year, you know what, that was it. This was something I was putting a huge amount of time into and was just getting an awful lot of hassle.

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"You got letters, you got anonymous letters in the door. You met people you didn't know that were giving out. You met people who didn't know you who were talking about you beside you when you were having lunch.

"It was tough. You learn later on to harden up and take it, not take it too personally. When you're involved and things don't go well for you, it's still raw."

Carey went onto win three more All-Ireland titles before calling time, for good, on his inter-county career in 2006.

Photo by Ray McManus/Sportsfile

See Also: Ó Sé And Cavanagh Picked Their Combined Kerry/Tyrone 2000s XVs

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