Donegal’s most decorated player Karl Lacey has announced his retirement from intercounty football.
The Four Masters man made his debut back in 2004, and went on to win three Ulster titles, as well as playing a vital role in Donegal’s All-Ireland success in 2012.
Lacey was awarded an All Star for his performances that season and he was named Footballer of the Year.
The classy defender was also awarded All Stars for his stellar displays in 2006, 2009, and 2011.
He released a statement today confirming the news.
“Having allowed some dust to settle on our season, I now feel ready to announce my retirement from the Donegal senior football team.
“I have experienced almost everything with the Donegal footballers over these past 14 seasons and more, from desperate defeats to the crowning glory winning the Sam Maguire in 2012 and everything in between.
“They are games and days and friendships that will live with me forever. I am thankful for the opportunities given to me over the course of my career, and grateful to the players who played alongside me and the coaches who guided me throughout it.
“With them, I was able to win League, Ulster, All-Ireland and individual honours, and for that I very thankful. In addition to my time with Donegal, I was honoured to be selected for my country and play in the 2006 and 2011 International Rules series.
“Now, I embark on a different phase of my life – that of a former county footballer. I will continue to play with Four Masters, with whom I first kicked a ball and with whom I will kick my last.
“I am enjoying increased responsibility in my job at LYIT and I have enjoyed dipping my toe into coaching in recent times, most recently with the Donegal development squads.
“I am soon to be married to my fiancee Ciara. Our son Noah has been a light in both our lives. They have made many sacrifices so that I could continue to pursue my inter county career and I am eternally grateful to them for that.”
Here’s how Twitter reacted to the news:
Congrats on great career @KarlLacey4 one of the best man markers I seen. Enjoy spare time 😉👍🏼🏐
— Tomás Ó Sé (@tomas5ky) August 31, 2017
Karl Lacey retires with 4 All Stars (2006, 2009, 2011, 2012) – says how good he was that two were won before Jim McGuinness revolution
— Shane Stapleton (@ShaneSaint) August 31, 2017
Whenever Karl Lacey had the ball, charging up the field, you knew it was going to end up where it needed to be. Once in a generation player.
— Niall McCauley (@Nially1988) August 31, 2017
Lucky enough to have been there to see Karl Lacey's best days in donegal colours, up there with the very best Donegal has produced #legend
— Kane Barrett (@kaneyb_14) August 31, 2017
— Noel Early (@noelearly) August 31, 2017
Karl Lacey's displays vs Cork, Kerry and Mayo during that 2012 season were otherworldly, incredible player 👏
— Ronan Mullen (@RonanReigns) August 31, 2017