Kilkenny hurler Eoin Larkin has retired from inter-county hurling.
In a statement issued via Kilkenny GAA, the eight-time All-Ireland winner said that he strived for perfection in his hurling carrer but never got there.
Larkin won Hurler of the Year in 2008 and captain Kilkenny to the All-Ireland title in 2012.
A member of the defence forces, the 32-year-old will continue to play for his club James Stephens.
Eoin Larkin retirement statement
After due consideration I have decided that now is the right time for me to announce my Intercounty retirement.I have enjoyed twelve of the best years of my life with success I could only have dreamed of. It was always my dream from a young age to play, captain and win an All-Ireland with Kilkenny and I’m proud and happy to say I lived my dream. I am content to walk away now knowing I gave everything I could for myself but also the team every time I walked out on the training pitch or pulled on a Kilkenny jersey and left no stone unturned in the pursuit of perfection, although I never got close. I’ve played with and against some of the best players of all time and had the privilege of working with the best manager of all time for those years.
Doing what I loved doing for twelve years didn’t seem like a sacrifice but although they never said anything I know for a fact my family sacrificed a massive amount for me to fulfil my dream. I will never be able to thank my mother enough for the unwavering support in every way possible and my father for his support and the opportunity he gave me from a young age to do what I loved. He brought me to trainings and matches and never hesitated when I asked “could we go for a few pucks”. It was this that allowed me to practice and become the hurler I am today.
I can never thank my wife Anne enough for the last twelve years of support, advice and often a little pick me up when things weren’t going so well. I also want to thank my children Mark, Holly and Ellie for their support and understanding for what I loved doing. It is certainly payback time now.
My sister, two brothers, Paddy, Veronica, extended family and friends always showed me support and were always there to bring me down a peg or two if needed.
I would also like to thank The Defence Forces for their understanding and support throughout my career. David Young of Opel, Denis Lahart of Volkswagen and most recently Cathal o Neill of Honda and also Sheridan Insurances have shown me endless generosity throughout the last twelve years. I also want to thank Kilkenny County Board and Supporters Club for all their work while I have been involved.
I want to thank Brian for the opportunity of playing for Kilkenny and will be forever grateful. I also want to thank all the selectors, backroom staff and medical teams that I’ve worked with. It was often a tough task to keep me fit but they were always more than up for the challenge.
I will continue to play for my beloved James Stephens for as long as I can and will go in search of further dreams.
Lastly I want to wish Brian and the rest of the lads the very best in 2017.I will certainly be roaring on the black and amber.
Tributes have already been paid to Larkin.
The most underrated & selfless player @11larky with unbelievable skills, the retirement home is filling up nicely now, be some over 40s team
— Jackie Tyrrell (@MrJackieTee) December 2, 2016
— JJ Delaney (@jjdel82) December 2, 2016
@11larky One of my all time favourite KK players. So much could be said but I'll just go with a massive "Thank you". You will be a huge loss
— Darren Holden THK (@darrenholden72) December 2, 2016
— Michael kavanagh (@michaeljkav) December 2, 2016
— Pat Bogue - Broadmore Research & Consultancy (@broadmoreRC) December 2, 2016