'It has been an absolute privilege' - Former Kildare captain Callaghan retires after 17 year inter-county career
Former Kildare captain Eamonn Callaghan has announced his retirement from inter-county football this afternoon.
The 35-year-old has called time on his 17 year career representing the Lilywhites, after a championship career that saw him reach an All-Ireland semi-final in 2010, and which began in Kildare's defeat to Laois in the 2002 Leinster final.
Callaghan also represented his country in the 2011 International Rules series with Australia.
The Naas man was recently part of one of his county's most famous victories as he came on as a substitute to kick Kildare's final point in their win over Mayo in their All-Ireland qualifier in Newbridge in June.
"It is with a heavy heart that my time has come to call it a day with the Kildare senior footballers," Callaghan said in a statement.
"I’ve been very fortunate to have had such a lengthy career representing my county, getting the opportunity to captain Kildare in that time, represent my county and create memories of a lifetime.
Time for the next chapter ⚪️ pic.twitter.com/lxJ5DaT2DO— Eamonn Callaghan (@leperleper) August 11, 2018
"I would like to thank all the managers and backroom teams who have guided me over the last 17 years.
"It has been an absolute privilege and a dream come true to have played alongside some of the best footballers in the country.
“I will miss the craic with the lads but I’m grateful to have shared a dressing room with them over the years and for the close friends I have made in that time.
“I would like to thank the passionate Kildare supporters for all their loyalty over the years, it was an honour to put on the white jersey to represent you and the support you give the team is always appreciated.
“It has been an honour to represent the Naas club during my time with Kildare and I’ll be forever thankful to them for their support.
“Finally, my family who have always been by my side. My parents, Pat and Teresa, my sisters Siobhan, Niamh and Eadaoin, my wife Katie and newest addition to our family Fionn.
“This year has shown that the future of Kildare football is bright and I look forward to supporting the lads in the years to come. Cill Dara Abú.”