Paul Flynn calls it a day and his retirement statement is pure class
Dublin's drive for five will be done without the excellent, astute services of the Fingallians clubman.
Six-time All-Ireland winner and four-time All Star Paul Flynn has announced his retirement from inter-county football.
After 11 years playing for Dublin, Flynn is stepping away and admits that, after recent back surgery, he 'struggled to reach the fitness required for inter county and to reach the standards that I set for myself'.
Flynn won the first of his six Sam Maguires back in 2011 and was a mainstay of Pat Gilroy and Jim Gavin's successful sides. In latter years, he was often used as an impact sub by Gavin but still contributed massively to the county's stellar run of title victories.
The statement Flynn sent out to confirm his retirement is as classy and respectful of the game, and his colleagues, as the player we came to know over the past decade. It reads:
'After 12 proud years wearing the Dublin jersey I have made the difficult decision to step away from the Dublin football panel. It’s an enormous privilege to play for your county and I feel incredibly lucky and proud that I got to play for Dublin for as long as I have.
'Dublin football has played a huge part in my life and I will be forever grateful for all that it has given me. I was honoured to train and play alongside exceptional teammates week in week out, to have enjoyed the support of extraordinary managers over the years and to have had the support of dedicated, world class backroom teams.
'I’m grateful for all that they’ve taught me over the years and for the lifelong friendships that I made along the way. My football career started and ended with the support of my club, my family and my friends and to them I am eternally grateful.
'Since my back surgery last year I’ve struggled to reach the fitness required for inter county and to reach the standards that I set for myself. While my heart says play on unfortunately my body says it’s time to call it a day.
'I’ve loved every minute of my journey with Dublin football and to have played in front of its dedicated and passionate supporters has allowed me to make memories that I will cherish forever. I move on now with gratitude to the next chapter of my life.'
He bows out at the very top, in a winning team.
In the past year, he has got more and more involved in the Gaelic Players' Association.