Limerick midfielder John Galvin announces his retirement from intercounty football

Veteran became an inspirational figure for the county since his debut in 1999

Retired Limerick midfielder John Galvin has admitted that continuing his career to become the longest serving player in championship football didn't interest him.

Galvin, 34, has officially called time on an epic 15-year playing career with Limerick that began way back in 1999.

The powerful Croom man made his Championship debut in June of that summer, a month after Longford's Paul Barden who will be the championship's longest serving player if he recommits in 2015 as expected.

Galvin fought back from cruciate knee ligament injuries in 2011 and 2012 to become a championship regular in the last two seasons.


He said that those injuries ultimately robbed him of another season with Limerick, however, and ruled out the possibility of staying on for longevity’s sake.

An achievement

“It had been said to me that I was one of the very few still there since the 1990s,” said Galvin. “But I would never have marked that down as an achievement of my career, to be able to say I was the longest serving county player at a particular time.

“That didn’t influence my decision at all. Being honest, I think I’d have been in place for another year anyway if it weren’t for the cruciate going two times. I missed two championship seasons and at the age I was, I don’t think I ever fully got back to myself. Those injuries definitely slowed me down and took something from me.

“But I have no regrets, I had a very long career. I went from 1999 to 2010 virtually injury free. I think I only missed one championship game and if I hadn’t done the cruciate the first time I’d nearly have got a clear run through the career.”

Galvin will go down as one of the top midfielders of his generation and enjoyed epic battles with Kerry's Darragh Ó Sé. A multiple All Star nominee, he was part of Limerick sides that came agonisingly close to a Munster final breakthrough in 2004, 2009 and 2010.

Limerick famously drew the 2004 final with Kerry though Galvin pointed to the more recent 2010 campaign as equally frustrating.

“People might say 2004 was one that got away but if you look at 2010, we fought back against Kerry in the Munster final to level and eventually lost by three,” said Galvin.

“Then in the qualifiers we played Cork and took them to extra-time – they went on to win the All-Ireland that year. Those are small margins you’re talking about.”

Galvin transferred last year to the Cratloe club in Clare, close to where he lives, and helped them to a successful county title defence.

Aside from the long-serving midfielder, Limerick will have to do without key forward Ian Ryan when they begin their McGrath Cup campaign on Sunday against UCC.

“I believe Ian’s target is to be back in March or April,” said Galvin. “He is definitely a big loss for the league because he’s been one of our main scorers for a while now.”