GAA Football

Updated: Top GAA figures pay tribute to retiring Paul Hearty

Crossmaglen Rangers Paul Hearty celebrates his last county championship triumph in 2015

CROSSMAGLEN and Armagh goalkeeping legend Paul Hearty announced his retirement this week and leaves as the GAA's most successful players of all-time.

The 39-year-old won six All-Ireland titles, 11 Ulster championships and an amazing 19 county titles.

Hearty also picked up five Ulster crowns, two National League titles and an U21 provincial crown with Armagh.

Hearty played his last game for 'Cross as they suffered defeat to Maghery in the senior championship semi-finals last weekend.

The news prompted a massive wave of best wishes for the big 'Cross man on social media, right across the country fans were fulsome in their praise and sad to see him leave the stage.

We asked some of the top Ulster players for their views on what made him extra-special......

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Paul was a great keeper and an unbelievable servant to both his club and county.

His medal haul speaks for itself - you don't win medals like that with a bad keeper.

He was a huge presence in goals, had a very good kick out and was brilliant at launching attacks from play for Crossmaglen.

Fair play to him and all the best to him in his retirement although I'm pretty sure it won't be long before he is snapped up as a coach by someone

Niall Morgan

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Paul was an exceptional goalkeeper. In his prime he was certainly one of if not thee best in the country.

He was a massive presence and had an excellent kick out. 

Paul oozed confidence which is required to play in that position. 

Paul was always a great character around the dressing room and that's important and his longevity is second to none. Similar to his medal collection. 

Quite simply put, Paul was a legend. 

Stevie McDonnell

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Paul wasn't just a great goalkeeper, he was a leader as well.

Any time you played against him at county level he was always out standing 30 40 yards from goal shouting instructions..telling players were to be and to go.

As far as his achievements go they are second to none.

Congratulations on a fantastic career and all the best to him in the future... 

Eoin Bradley

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Paul's greatest trait apart from his obvious goalkeeping ability was his sense of humour and sense of mate-ship. 

He was always in good form, never took himself too seriously and would sit and have the craic with all the boys from youngest to oldest each night. 

As a half-back I really appreciate the value of his booming long kick out. 

Knowing the ball would always be travelling away over my head allowing me to attack the break on the front foot help us to create endless scoring opportunities. 

His medal haul at club level will never be bettered. 

For that, I hope he is immensely proud of his achievements. 

Aaron Kernan

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His accolades speak for themselves he was a top quality goal keeper for a long period of time. 
Caolan Mooney

Without doubt one of the best club players ever his haul of medals speaks volumes for the man. 

A true gentleman who never got carried away with his success and if anything winning made him hungrier for more. 

As with all goalkeepers he was a great character which earned him upmost respect among fellow team-mates and opponents a like. 

Most club players would give their right arm for one county championship medal which is so hard earned but Paul's haul is just incredible.

 

It will never be equalled. 

John Clarke


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Paul's longevity has been incredible for both club and county and with his medal haul added into the mix then it is unlikely to ever be matched

Conleith Gilligan 

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We had an intense rivalry for club and county during the years.

What I valued most about him was his composure and assurance under pressure. 

For him that was every game with Crossmaglen and their golden era and also Armagh. 

I had the pleasure of being in a changing room with him for Ulster and just looked up to him, physically obviously and just in admiration for the man. 

A humble gentleman off the pitch, he stunk of class!

Ryan McCluskey

 

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