Tuesday 26 September 2017

Stephen Lucey brings curtain down on 17-year Limerick career

Stephen Lucey in action for the Limerick footballers
Stephen Lucey in action for the Limerick footballers
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

One of Limerick's most loyal servants Stephen Lucey has announced his inter-county retirement after representing both hurlers and footballers over a 17-year career.

A widely respected figure both within Limerick and at national level, the Croom clubman was first called onto the Limerick senior hurling panel in 1999 and has represented his county in both codes with distinction in that time.

The 35-year-old won two All-Ireland medals at U-21 level, captaining the Treaty hurlers to victory over Galway in 2000. In the same year he was part of the U-21 football side that lost to Tyrone in the All-Ireland decider, though success at senior level evaded the teak-tough defender.

In 2009 Lucey, along with 11 others, was dropped from the hurling squad, ending his nine-year career, before being recalled in 2011 by Dónal O'Grady.

"It was an honour and a privilege to have represented Limerick for so long and I was lucky enough to have played championship 67 times, over 30 times in each code," he said in a statement released by the GPA.

"There are a number of people I would like to thank. Firstly I would like to thank all my teammates who I played with along the way. We had our ups and downs, but we have some great memories and have lifelong friendships. As Mickey Ned O'Sullivan said to me recently, 'it is not the destination but the journey that is often more important'.

"I would like express my sincere gratitude to all management teams and back room staff from Limerick, my club Croom, Cistercian College Roscrea, and UCD, especially the physios who kept me in one piece!

"I am very grateful to work colleagues who swapped shifts or covered for me if I was gone training or playing matches.

The veteran also paid tribute to the work being carried out at grassroots level in the county.

"Finally, there is a lot of great work being done in Limerick hurling and football at the moment, with some great players coming through. The future is bright, and I would like to wish all Limerick teams the very best."

Lucey appeared in four Munster football finals, losing to Kerry three times and Cork in 2009.

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