Laois stalwart Ross Munnelly, one of the inter-county game's longest serving players, has announced his retirement just shy of his 40th birthday.

Munnelly, who completed his 20th campaign for Laois in 2022, announced his retirement from the inter-county scene on social media this morning.

Last season he was the only player from outside Dublin - who have won every provincial championship since 2011 - to possess a Leinster winner's medal.

"I write this note with a smile, as the time feels right to conclude my inter-county playing days.

"Thank you Micko for giving me the chance to achieve my dream of playing for Laois in 2003. It has been both a privilege and an honour.

"My family have been my most loyal supporters and my greatest inspiration.

"I will forever be grateful to my club Arles Kilcruise and all the people I shared the last 20 seasons with. An amazing experience with learnings and friendships that will last forever. Happy Christmas and thank you all!"

A much lauded wing-forward, Munnelly made his championship debut in Laois football's annus mirabilis in 2003, memorably winning a Leinster title in the first year of Mick O'Dwyer's reign.

Munnelly, then aged 20, scored 1-01 in the provincial decider against Kildare as the O'Moore men won their first Leinster crown for 57 years.

Two years later, Munnelly had been installed as captain, as Laois came agonisingly close to winning another provincial title, being pipped by a point by Dublin in the final.

While Laois football gradually retreated from prominence in the coming years, Munnelly continued to win acclaim for his consistency and performances. He was nominated for an All-Star in 2006 and earned three call-ups for the Ireland international rules side in 2005, 2013 and 2014.

Under Justin McNulty, Laois would embark on an impressive run to the quarter-finals in 2012, Munnelly firing 1-04 as they dispatched Meath in the last-12. But Munnelly, then closing in on 30, was barely halfway through his inter-county career at that point.

He made his final appearance for Laois in their Tailteann Cup defeat to Westmeath in May.