Down's Marty Clarke forced to retire from football because of medical problem
Down's Marty Clarke has been forced to retire from Gaelic football because of an ongoing medical problem.
The 29-year-old suffers from Addison's Disease, a condition which causes extreme fatigue and weight loss and, speaking in today's Irish News, he admitted that playing the game is causing too much stress on his body. There is no known cure for the illness.
“I made the decision because of the stress it’s putting me under,” said Clarke in today's Irish News.
“The dynamic nature of Gaelic where you’re running, you’re jumping, I was putting my body under a lot of stress.
“I just felt completely zapped from the start of the game to the finish. When I got home it was taking me longer and longer to recover.
“I went and got a bit of advice from the consultant and he recommended I stop competitive sport."
Clarke's last match was for Queen's in the Independent.ie Sigerson Cup when they were beaten by DCU on January 25 on this year.
“It probably hasn’t sunk in totally but I know in my heart, the way I was feeling after a lot of football games for club and Queens, that it’s not safe and I’m not doing myself justice probably
“The Kingdom have been first class and it was pretty emotional telling the fellas.”
Clarke played 73 games for Collingwood in Austria since his debut in 2007, though did return home in 2009 and was a key player as Down reached the 2010 All-Ireland final where they lost by a point to Cork. The classy forward won an All Star that year before returning to Collingwood in 2012. Injuries and loss of form resulted in just 27 appearances since his second stint in Australia.