Kerry GAA legend Colm Cooper confirms retirement
KERRY forward Colm Cooper has retired from inter-county football at the age of 33 after a 15-year career with the Kingdom's senior team where he fulfilled his "ultimate dreams in life."
Cooper made his debut for the Kingdom in 2002 and helped the team win five All-Ireland titles, four national league crowns and nine Munster championships.
Last month he was part of the Dr Crokes team that beat Slaughtneil on St Patrick's Day to win the All-Ireland Club Championship.
Colm Cooper's full statement
"Today I wish to announce my retirement from the Kerry Senior Football team," said Cooper.
"It has been an amazing journey and one that I never wanted to end, however, I feel that this is the right time for me step away from inter county football. Representing the Kingdom for the past seventeen years has given me a tremendous amount of pride and satisfaction.
"To my Kerry teammates that I have soldiered with throughout the years, thank you for your guidance, patience and friendship. I feel extremely lucky to have experienced so many wonderful highlights with you all.
"To get the opportunity to play with, and against, some of the greatest players in the history of the GAA has given me memories that I will always treasure.
"During my career I have been very fortunate to work with some outstanding Kerry managers. They gave me the confidence to develop my game which allowed me to perform at the highest level.
"I would like to thank the Kerry County Board, backroom staff and medical teams for their constant help and support throughout my career.
What a footballer The Gooch has been. Unmarkable at his best. The greatest 'Two trick pony' you're ever likely to see... Been a pleasure pic.twitter.com/oqkIiV8ZhO— Brian O'Driscoll (@BrianODriscoll) April 4, 2017
"A huge thank you to the loyal Kerry fans at home and abroad for their continuous support. I now become a supporter and wish the team all the best in their quest for honours in 2017.
"I would like to thank my club Dr. Crokes for nurturing my talents and giving me the belief that there was no limit to what I could achieve, also to get the opportunity to Captain Kerry teams is something I’m extremely privileged to have done.
"I’m looking forward to continuing my Dr. Crokes career.
"Finally to my family, without you none of my successes would have been possible. Through the ups and downs, you were the people that believed in me and kept me going. For this I am forever grateful.
"It is very rare for people to achieve their ultimate dreams in life - I just have."