HENRY SHEFFLIN will be left to chase a record-breaking 10th All-Ireland medal on his own after Kilkenny's veteran full-back Noel Hickey called time on his stellar career.
Hickey informed manager Brian Cody of his decision to step away over the weekend.
"I know now is the time for me to go," said the man from Dunamaggin. "I leave with no regrets. I got much more out of the game than I could ever have imagined. I have played with and against some of the best, and now is a good time for me to go."
Hickey (32), who found game time limited in recent seasons, also has seven National League medals and three All Star awards in his trophy cabinet.
Elsewhere, in another blow to Cork hurling boss Jimmy Barry-Murphy, Eoin Cadogan has opted to concentrate solely on the county's footballers for the coming campaign.