Mayo's Donal Vaughan has announced his retirement from inter-county football "with a heavy heart" at the age of 32. 

The Castlebar Mitchels player endured an injury-hit 2020 and did not make a major impression in Mayo's championship campaign as the county reached a fifth All-Ireland final in nine years. 

The experienced centre-back, who runs a shoe retail business, and whose wife recently gave birth to a baby boy, has opted to call it a day, releasing a statement to the Irish Examiner

"It is with a heavy heart that I have come to the decision that the time is now right to hang up my boots," said Vaughan. 

"I would like to take this opportunity to thank the army of Mayo fans for all of their support over the years, especially to those who took the time to send me cards, letters and messages."

Vaughan made his inter-county debut against New York in 2009 and established himself as a consistent and influential presence in the Mayo half-back line over the subsequent decade. 

He featured in five All-Ireland finals, including the 2016 replay, also winning six Connacht titles between 2009 and 2015. 

Vaughan, who was nominated for All-Stars in 2011 and 2013, was an energetic half-back, capable of rampaging forward to get scores, often at key moments. 

He delivered one of his most effective final displays in 2016, raiding forward to kick the penultimate score to help force a replay. The following year's decider was to prove more contentious, as he was sent off early in the second half, following a clash with John Small, as Mayo were ultimately edged out by a point again. 

Vaughan claimed a national title in Croke Park in 2019, starting on the side which overcame Kerry to win the Division 1 title. 

In his statement, Vaughan thanked his wife and family and concluded by thanking his team-mates, acknowledging that 2020 had been a tough year for all.

"To my fellow team-mates who I have soldiered with over the last twelve years: it has been an honour and a privilege to wear the green and red alongside you with pride. You are men of outstanding character and relentless drive.

"Finally, I would like to acknowledge how tough a year this has been for everybody. Stay strong and stay safe.

"Maigh Eo Abú - Donie."