Dessie Dolan's final score from play a fitting reflection of how he went about things 2 weeks ago

Dessie Dolan's final score from play a fitting reflection of how he went about things

Gone at 40.

Garrycastle would gladly hold onto him a while longer. 22 years is a lifetime of service though, and Dessie Dolan owes that club nothing.

It all started in 1997. Dolan was 18 and around Westmeath he was the hottest ticket. They'd heard the tales and fantasised at the predictions. This lad could start a new era.

His arrival was greeted with ringing bells.

More than half a lifetime on and Dolan has re-written the history books not only in Garrycastle, but for the whole of Westmeath too. He will go down as one of the county's most influential ever players. His name will be the first they'll talk and think about.

It's no wonder why.

Before '97, Garrycastle had never once brought a Westmeath senior title back. Now they have eight and Dolan has starred in each of them, right up until his final year.

In Westmath, they could write songs about him.

Their first ever All-Star. Part of their first ever All-Ireland winning under-21 team. In 2004, he was the star man in their one and only Leinster title win.

For all the illuminating successes though, it's not the medals nor the trophies Dolan will be remembered for. It's the scores, the flamboyant skills and the pure technique.

That's why he was still worth his place at 40. Those inherent skills never leave you and Dolan's game was never about pace. It's hardly surprising then that he was still Garrycastle's talisman in his final year, and that his final score from play was an absolute peach that left the opposition defenders rooted to the ground.

You can't mark that. You can't stop it either.

Dessie Dolan was one of the greats.