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Kerry legend Tomás Ó Sé retires from football

Updated: Saturday, 05 Oct 2013 21:34 | Comments

Tomás Ó Sé played 88 Championship games for his county en route to five All-Ireland titles
Tomás Ó Sé played 88 Championship games for his county en route to five All-Ireland titles

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Kerry legend and five-time All-Ireland winner Tomás Ó Sé is retiring from football at the age of 35.

Gaelic football's longest serving player has now called time on his career after the 2013 Championship, where Kerry were beaten by Dublin in a classic All-Ireland semi-final.

The 35-year-old made his debut in 1998, going on to win eight Munster titles with the Kingdom. He was part of Kerry's 1997 All-Ireland winning squad, but did not feature in any match that season. 

After making the number five jersey his own in 1998, Ó Sé went on to make 88 Championship appearances with Kerry - the most ever by an inter-county player..

The Ventry native scored 3-35 throughout his remarkable Championship career.

Ó Sé also enjoyed success with his club, An Ghaeltacht, winning two Kerry County Championships and reaching an All-Ireland Club Final in 2004, where they lost to Caltra by one point.

The Kerry defender won five All-Star awards in 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2009, and was named the Footballer of the Year in 2004.

"Tomás was the best wing back that I have seen play the game" - Eamonn Fitzmaurice

Speaking to RTÉ Raidio Na Gaeltachta this afternoon, Ó Sé expressed his disappointment that the defeat to Dublin meant he did not end his Kerry career on a high.

“In a way, I feel that we, the players, let Eamonn Fitzmaurice and the management down on the day, as they had every base covered, and that upsets me given the work that everybody involved had put in.”

Kerry manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice paid the ultimate tribute to Ó Sé, claiming the An Gaeltacht man was 'the best wing back that I have seen play the game'.

Fitmaurice said: "In many ways Tomás epitomised everything that Kerry football is all about. His commitment, determination and never-say-die attitude were plainly visible every time he took to the pitch.

"He was a warrior. He also had a game-changing ability and instinctively knew when one of his trademark bursts from defence culminating in a score was required.

"His fitness levels have always been astounding. He trained ferociously hard and really enjoyed the challenge of getting himself ready for the big championship days. These were the days that he enjoyed most. The days that defined him. The days when he always performed.

"From a personal point of view he was a great team mate and a dream to manage. He was a huge presence in our dressing room. 

"Tomás was the best wing back that I have seen play the game. Deireadh ré is ea é. N'fheadar an mbeidh a leithéid arís ann? Go néirí go geal leis amach anseo."

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