Donegal captain Michael Murphy has announced his decision to retire from inter-county football, ending a 15-year senior career.

The Glenswilly clubman steps away with an All-Ireland winner's medal and three Ulster titles, while he was named on the All-Star team three times. In 2009 he was named the Young Footballer of the Year.

The 33-year-old made his Donegal senior debut in 2007 and has been ever-present in the county's set-up throughout his illustrious inter-county career.

Named the county captain in 2011 by Jim McGuinness, Murphy became one of the youngest players to lead Donegal as he helped to steer them to back-to-back Ulster titles and All-Ireland glory in 2012.

Murphy confirmed his retirement in a statement in which he laid bare his love for the county and his pride in their achievements

"To have the chance to combine a sport I love with the place I love for 20 years of my life is a privilege and honour for which I am very grateful," he said. "But I always knew the day would come when this chapter of my life would have to close. Now, that day has arrived.

"I still love Gaelic football and I still love Donegal. However, in the team I'm proud to have captained, to compete at the level which Donegal deserves requires the best I can give every day. I no longer feel I have the energy and capacity to reach the performance levels to give my best to Donegal.

"The last time we sat together in the changing rooms in Clones, I told my teammates that whatever happened in the future, Donegal will always go on. That’s still my belief. I cannot and never will be able to express how thankful I am to my teammates and managers and those giving expert support over the seasons. Friendships and bonds have been forged which go with me throughout my life."

Murphy hoists the Anglo Celt Cup after Donegal's 2019 victory

Murphy went on to thank the Donegal supporters, along with his family and his club.

"To those good people who support our county team and everyone I know in Donegal: they say we are different up here," he said. "Well, we are different in the best of ways. Thank you to all of you who have made this journey very special for me. I look forward to pulling on a Donegal jersey and joining you in the terraces to support our teams.

"To my own family and my club Glenswilly GAA, you've always been there for me, through the highs and the lows. It was you who made the sacrifices so that I could follow my dream. My family and my club are at the centre of all my plans for the future. They deserve the best of me too. Maybe in the years ahead, I’ll find new ways to offer something more to my home county."