Two-time Kerry All-Ireland winner Anthony Maher has announced his retirement from inter-county football.
"Since pulling on my first green and gold jersey back in 1999 for the primary game in Pairc Ui Chaoimh I’ve had the immense pleasure of representing my family, my parish and my county – now the time has come to call it a day," said Maher in a statement released via Kerry GAA.
"I’d firstly like to thank all my former teammates. While I am retiring from Kerry football with a heavy heart, I’m retiring with incredible memories."
After making his Kerry senior debut in 2008, Maher went on to win his first All-Ireland the following year. His second came in 2014 when he formed a key midfield partnership with David Moran.
Maher follows teammates Kieran Donaghy and Donnchadh Walsh in announcing his retirement this autumn.
"Anthony Maher was top class as a footballer and as a leader in the dressing room," said Jack O'Connor, who managed Kerry to that 2009 title.
He was a great team player and commanded a lot of respect when he spoke.
He is a very intelligent man and he brought that with him on the football field. Anthony was very modest but a fierce competitor when it came down to a battle. It's a pity injury blighted the last couple of years of his career as he worked extremely hard to get himself right.
Eamonn Fitzmaurice was Kerry boss when they defeated Donegal in the 2014 final. The recently departed Kerry manager hailed Maher's abilities in the middle of the park.
Fitzmaurice also told a story which encapsulates Maher's dedication.
"His involvement in the recent past has been limited by debilitating injuries that he stubbornly defied to keep playing at the highest level.
"He was a leader in the dressing room often acting as a conduit to management. He was a complete midfielder, strong in the air, athletic, skilful, two-footed and extremely hard working.
"He was exceptionally dedicated to his craft and worked tirelessly on his game.
"In 2014 we holidayed in South Africa as All Ireland champions. We spent part of the trip at Sun City and naturally availed of the golf on site.
"One day as a group of us wound down our round I noticed Anthony running around the boundary of the golf course on his own, typically pushing himself. He was getting ready for 2015 and backed up his 2014 season by again driving us to the final that year.
"Anthony also managed to excel academically balancing his studies and work life expertly with football. Achieving a PhD while competing at an elite level places Anthony in an exclusive club."