Armagh defender Ciarán McKeever has announced his retirement from inter-county football after 14 years with the county.

McKeever has enjoyed a glittering career with Armagh, winning four Ulster SFC titles along with an Allianz League Division 1 title in 2005 and the All-Ireland Under-21 Championship.

The St Patrick's Cullyhanna clubman also represented Ireland three-time in the International Rules series and was named as vice-captain of the side in 2011.

McKeever has been struggling with a string of injuries in recent times and had surgery last year to try to resolve a knee injury, but at 34, he has finally called time of his county career.

"It was always my dream to represent Armagh growing up so it's with a heavy heart that I announce my retirement from inter-county football today," he said in a statement. 

"It has been a great honour to have been part of the Armagh squad from 2003-2017, as captain for six of those years, and this is not a decision I have arrived at lightly.

"Having met with Kieran McGeeney at the end of 2016 after undergoing two operations, I was unsure of my inter-county future but we decided to try and get the body right for one more year and I believe the time is now right to call it a day."

"My journey as a county player has been truly wonderful – it has been a privilege to have been involved with such an incredible group of footballers and I am very fortunate to have tasted the ultimate success at international, provincial and county level and captaining Armagh's U-21s to All-Ireland success in 2004 was a special highlight."

"While always an enormous commitment, playing for Armagh was a fantastic experience and I would like to thank the many people who supported me during my career, particularly my parents Majella and Michael as well as all my family and friends.

McKeever revealed that McGeeney had been a major influence on his career as both a team-mate and manager and he paid special tribute to the Armagh boss.

"I'd like to pay special thanks to Kieran McGeeney, who I always looked up to as a youngster from my days travelling to watch Armagh play," he said. 

"When I joined the squad in 2003, he took me under his wing and helped me develop as a player, he taught me what commitment and values were required to play for Armagh and I'm glad my journey has ended under his watch. I'd like to wish Kieran and the Armagh squad all the best in 2018 and into the future."