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GAA NEWS Cork veteran Paul Kerrigan calls time on his inter-county career with Rebels

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19 September 2010; Paul Kerrigan lifts the Sam Maguire after Cork's victory in the 2010 All-Ireland final

19 September 2010; Paul Kerrigan lifts the Sam Maguire after Cork's victory in the 2010 All-Ireland final

19 September 2010; Paul Kerrigan lifts the Sam Maguire after Cork's victory in the 2010 All-Ireland final

PAUL KERRIGAN has called time on his inter-county football career, severing one of the last remaining links to the Cork All-Ireland winning team of 2010.

The Nemo Rangers clubman, 34 next month, made his SFC debut off the bench in the 2008 Munster final win over Kerry – the first of three senior provincial medals won during a roller coaster career in the Rebel red.

He started the 2009 All-Ireland final defeat to Kerry and the following year’s decider against Down, in what would prove the high point of his career. His departure leaves Ciarán Sheehan as the sole possessor of a Celtic Cross in the current Cork dressing-room.

Other career highlights included an All-Ireland U21 medal in 2007 and three Allianz League Division 1 titles in consecutive years from 2010 to ’12, but success proved more elusive throughout the second half of his career.

Kerrigan’s on-field swansong would prove a more joyous occasion, as he came off the bench to help Cork to that dramatic extra-time win over Kerry earlier this month … but he failed to see any game time as the Leesiders then suffered a surprise Munster final loss to Tipperary last Sunday.

Noted for his lightning speed, the Cork forward emulated his father Jimmy on two fronts – achieving senior All-Ireland success and representing his country in International Rules.

“Today I am announcing my retirement from inter-county football,” Kerrigan confirmed in a statement released on the Cork GAA website. “I consider it a huge privilege to have represented and captained Cork. It is something I’ve never taken for granted. I’ve been lucky enough to meet and work with some fantastic people and will treasure the friendships I’ve made.

“I’d like to thank the four managers and their backroom teams I’ve played under, for having faith in me and giving me the opportunity to live out my dream.

“I would also like to thank the Cork County Board and my club, Nemo Rangers, for their support.

"I’ve been fortunate to play with some of Cork’s best ever footballers and achieve the ultimate goal of winning Sam Maguire.

“I look forward to watching this current team in the years to come, who I firmly believe can also achieve great things.

“I’d like to thank my family and wife for their constant support down through the years. I look forward to continuing with my club, Nemo Rangers, with whom I hope to enjoy further success.

Rebels Abú.”

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