Dermot Earley has brought the curtain down on his illustrious inter-county career with Kildare due to continuing injury concerns.
The former All Star has endured two years ravaged by knee and back problems and has admitted that his days in the Lilywhite jersey are over.
A dynamic midfielder, Earley was just 20 years of age when playing a key role in helping the Lilies end their 42-year Leinster SFC famine in 1998.
Following an intense winter training programme, the Sarsfields powerhouse (34) was due to make his latest comeback against Dublin in the league, but after suffering a back spasm during the warm-up, he underwent another two operations in a bid to sort out the problem but to no avail.
He told Newstalk today: “It’s disappointing because, of course, it’s a serious injury that does have a long rehab plan. To rehab it correctly - I just don’t have enough time to do it this season to do it. I had said it was going be my last season anyway, so unfortunately this operation has really ended my inter-county career. I’m quite sad about it but at the same time I’m happy enough to make that decision.
"You’d like to finish on your own terms and go out on the playing field.
“Your health is your wealth. My body has been through over the last number of years and I think this is just the right decision to give it a rest and let it heal properly.”