All-Star legend Conor Gormley calls time on Tyrone
One of Tyrone's greatest ever defenders has announced his retirement from inter county football and Conor Gormley has admitted that the decision didn't come easy.
The Carrickmore clubman was a lynchpin for the Red Hands as they enjoyed their most successful ever period winning the Sam Maguire Cup three times between 2003 and 2008.
On each of those occasions Gormley was recognised with an All-Star award and it will be strange seeing Tyrone run out on the field come championship time without him being involved.
"It was the most difficult decision that I had to make in my sporting career," said Gormley.
"In fairness to Mickey [Harte] he gave me plenty of time to come to my decision and I thought long and hard about it.
"It was disappointing that my last game in a Tyrone shirt ended in a championship defeat against our neighbours Armagh. I suppose at the end of that game it was in the back of my mind that was the last time I would wear a Tyrone jersey but I have only made the decision to retire lately. At the start of last year we had twins and family commitments come first now.
"I have been fortunate to have enjoyed a great career with Tyrone and at the end of the day retirement comes around to everyone and I'm just glad that I left on my own terms. I enjoyed every minute of it and I want to thank my mum and dad, my wife, my sisters and all the family for their support over the years as I couldn't have achieved what I did without them."
Conor plans to be at the Athletic Grounds on Sunday as Tyrone begin the defence of the McKenna Cup against Armagh.
And it's not the end of Gormley as a player as he plans to play another few years for his beloved Carrickmore.