Colm Boyle has retired from inter-county football, bringing a close to one of Mayo’s most distinguished football careers.
According to a report in the Mayo News, Boyle – now 35 – has decided to leave the inter-county arena after 14 seasons during which he became one of Mayo’s most influential and celebrated footballers.
He walks away with eight Connacht medals and four All Stars – the joint highest number of any Mayo player alongside Keith Higgins and Lee Keegan.
Boyle also either played or was part of the Mayo panel for seven senior All-Ireland finals between 2012 and 2021.
An attacker in his younger days – Boyle captained the Mayo minors and won an All-Ireland U21 medal in 2006 – the Davitts man made his name as a combative and attacking half-back.
Having established himself firmly in the team in 2012, Boyle endeared himself to the Mayo support with his abrasive tackling and forward bursts.
Along with Keegan, they exemplified Mayo’s explosive running game for much of the last decade from either flank of the team’s defence.
He played in his first All-Ireland final in 2012 despite requiring a hospital visit the week before the loss to Donegal due to a virus.
"A very courageous guy," remarked Horan afterwards. "A week before the All-Ireland final, he was in hospital for a while, so it just shows you the level of commitment he has and what he is prepared to do for the team."
Boyle’s appearances have dried up since suffering a cruciate injury last February in a league game against Dublin in Castlebar.
In the meantime, a new wave of defenders have made homes for themselves across the Mayo rear guard, though Boyle is understood to have remained an influential member of the setup.
In all, Boyle made four appearances for Mayo this year, all from the bench. His only championship minutes came in the Connacht semi-final destruction of Leitrim in Castlebar back in July, when he replaced Paddy Durcan.
Boyle’s retirement severs another link to a regenerative era for Mayo football, albeit one that has yet to see them claim an All-Ireland.
Of the team that lost to Dublin in the 2017 All-Ireland final by just a point – the side widely considered to have come closest to ending the county’s Sam Maguire famine – he is the eighth to have retired in the four years since.
In all, Boyle made 120 appearances for Mayo since making his debut in 2008.