‘I owe Monaghan football everything’: Conor McManus will wait on retirement decision

The 36-year-old forward, one of the county’s best ever players, was on losing side against Galway

Monaghan's Conor McManus dejected after the game. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Conor McManus said he will wait before making a decision on his retirement from inter-county football but his emotional walk from Pearse Stadium to the dressing rooms through a standing ovation from both Monaghan and Galway fans had all the hallmarks of the curtain coming down on a wonderful career.

The three-time All Star, who is now 36, landed two late frees to cut the gap to a goal in the dying moments of their preliminary quarter-final against Galway but they ran out of time. And time, it would seem, is also up for Monaghan’s finest forward.

“It is a decision for him to make,” said Monaghan manager Vinny Corey. “This is 18 years, there’s definitely more sand at the bottom of the clock than the top but I’d say he’ll make his mind up. He has been an unbelievable servant for Monaghan.

“What he has given Monaghan and GAA as a whole, he’s produced time and time again over the years. And for him to give such long service to Monaghan, he could have walked away at the end of last year after an All-Ireland semi-final and be happy when his innings, but he went through the pain barrier again this year just to squeeze one more last year out of himself it speaks volumes of that man,” said Corey.


McManus, twice an Ulster championship winner, said the aftermath of a game where they hoped to book a place in Croke Park next weekend was not the time to make a decision, but strongly hinted that he has played his last game for Monaghan.

“I’ve loved every minute of it, if that is to be it. I don’t know for sure yet,” said McManus.

“I owe Monaghan football everything, there some of the best supporters around and yeah, it has been a privilege.

“But today’s not about me. It’s about Monaghan and we didn’t get into the quarter-final. That’s the biggest disappointment.

“It’s no big secret that the clock’s running out on my innings. But it is what it is.”