/ GAA

Rebel Noel O'Leary calls time on Cork career

Updated: Thursday, 17 Oct 2013 13:02 | Comments

Noel O'Leary won both minor and senior All-Ireland titles with Cork
Noel O'Leary won both minor and senior All-Ireland titles with Cork

Cork Footballer Noel O’Leary has called time on a successful 14-year inter-county career.

The 31 year-old helped his county to All-Ireland success in 2010 as well as landing three Munster titles with the Rebels.

O’Leary made his Senior debut in a league clash with Limerick back in 2000, just months after the Cill na Martra man won an All-Ireland title with the Cork minors.

Speaking about his retirement in The Examiner, O’Leary said: “I have no complaints. I’ve had a fair innings with Cork. I’m there 14 years, believe it or not.

“The senior All-Ireland was the highlight, obviously, though winning the minor was great craic as well. Having played for so long, and to come so close a couple of times before that, it was great to win it.

“But there were other highlights, too. It might sound like a cliche, but making the friends I did with Cork, and with other counties, that was great. Seeing the world with the team was a great privilege too — I certainly saw places I’d never have seen otherwise.

“Wearing the senior jersey for Cork was the ultimate for me, something I dreamed of as a child and which came true for me as an adult. I’ll always appreciate the honour of representing the people of Cork.”

O’Leary will be fondly remembered in Cork footballing folklore for his many epic battles with Kerry forward Paul Galvin.

O’Leary said: “Look, we had a few clashes over the years but I think in reality a lot of those were blown slightly out of proportion by the media. I’d have nothing but respect for Paul as a player and I’d hope he’d feel the same way about myself.

“Yes, we had our battles in various games, those are memories I won’t forget, but I wouldn’t have a bad word said against Paul. “He texted me after we won the All-Ireland, in fairness.”

A statement on the Cork GAA website thanked O’Leary for his service to the county. It read: “Many thanks to Noel for his dedication to Cork GAA for so many years, and best of luck to him in his future endeavours.”

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