Kilkenny's Jackie Tyrrell has announced his retirement from inter-county hurling.
Tyrrell, a nine-time All-Ireland winner, says that retirement comes easy knowing that he gave it his all while wearing the black and amber jersey.
A steely defender, Tyrrell made his Cats debut in 2005. The 34-year-old will continue playing for his club James Stephens.
After careful consideration and reflection I have decided that now is the right time for me to announce my retirement from inter county hurling with the Kilkenny senior hurling team. I am making this decision comfortable in the knowledge that I never settled for anything less than giving it my very best. I fought to the end and I never gave up until the contest was over.
Being part of the Kilkenny senior hurling panel for the past fourteen years has been an unbelievable journey that has given me endless fulfilment, satisfaction, enjoyment and happiness. I have had the privilege of playing with and against some of the greatest sportsmen of our time. I cherish the friendships I have made all over the country. There were many challenges along the way but these became my opportunities and motivation to strive even harder to achieve my very best.
My parents, my sisters and brother and my girlfriend, Clare, have been my greatest inspiration and encouragement on my journey and no words can express my gratitude to them.
I consider myself lucky to have played under the greatest GAA manager of all time, Brian Cody. I thank him and his management teams for their confidence in me right up to the present time. I wish them and the Kilkenny panel the very best in the future.
I also wish to thank Ned Quinn and the Kilkenny County Board, the Kilkenny Supporters Club, the GPA and the countless Kilkenny fans, each who in their own way encouraged me every step of the way during my intercounty career.
My employer, Glanbia, have accommodated me in every way possible over the years and for that I am very grateful.
I also wish to acknowledge and thank Br. Damien Brennan for his role in my development as player and as a person. He challenged me to embrace my talents in order to bring my best to every situation and achieve things I would have never thought possible.
I now intend to dedicate myself and the rest of my playing career to my beloved James Stephen’s. It was there that my desire to play the game that I love at the highest level was nurtured and developed.
Today is not the end but the continuation of a journey, a new beginning, which I intend to fully embrace knowing now that any realistic dream can become a reality.
Players from both hurling and football have paid tribute to Tyrrell.
What a man!!! What a player!!! What a competitor!!!no other words needs!!! Enjoy @MrJackieTee
— Eoin Larkin (@11larky) November 11, 2016
@MrJackieTee what a career. Tough hard and brilliant. 🏅🏅🏅🏅🏅🏅🏅🏅🏅...9 medals to boot!!😜 enjoy retirement 👍🏼
— Tomás Ó Sé (@tomas5ky) November 11, 2016
Best wishes @MrJackieTee. You gave your all for the black and Amber.
— Joe Dooley (@DooleyJoe) November 11, 2016
Congrats @MrJackieTee on an outstanding inter county career. Consistent performer in a group that will be remembered for a lifetime.
— Aaron Kernan (@AaronKernan) November 11, 2016
Best of luck to @MrJackieTee on retirement & on the future. The man has been a legend to kilkenny & hurling. #JackieT#alwayssetthestandard. pic.twitter.com/9M60txedIh
— Kieran Joyce (@joycek87) November 11, 2016
Big congrats to @MrJackieTee on an amazing career, loved watching him & the Cats dominate. Another fashion icon #LovesTheStyle 😎◾️🔶
— Darran O'Sullivan (@Darransull86) November 11, 2016
Picture credit: Piaras Ó Mídheach / SPORTSFILE