GALWAY football has lost one of its greatest ever players following the announcement of Padraic Joyce's retirement.
The departure of Joyce (35) severs the last link with the Galway team that ended a 32-year-wait for the All-Ireland title in 1998 and comes four months after he played his final inter-county game as a sub against Antrim in the qualifiers.
"I can't go on playing forever. I gave it some thought as other lads called a halt in recent years, but decided to persevere. But now the time is right to get out," he said.
He has yet to make a final decision on whether he will continue to play with his club, Killererin.
Regarded as one of the best forwards of his generation, he won All-Ireland medals in 1998 and 2001. However, the team's fortunes dimmed, and Galway have not even won a Connacht title since 2008.
It was frustrating for Joyce to see standards dropping all around him, but he always maintained his own game at the very highest level.
"I have been very fortunate to have played with some great teams at club, schools, college, inter-county and international level. I have also been blessed to have had some great managers, so I can have no complaints," he said.
Was Padraic Joyce Galway's greatest forward?