Down footballer John Clarke has announced his retirement from senior intercounty football.
The An Riocht clubman told manager James McCartan earlier this week that he was calling at a day. In today’s Irish News the player speaks about how he grew disillusioned with constant criticism from so-called supporters:
“The Armagh defeat made me think a lot. You get a lot of criticism. You don’t mind people criticising you to your face, but you do have your critics who sit behind computer screens and are on discussion boards, which is cowardly.
“Players and managers alike take a lot of abuse on those things. That’s not the reason why I’m retiring – but there’s criticism and there’s criticism.
“Definitely, after the Armagh game it just got to a point where I just thought it wouldn’t be fair. I wouldn’t be one for doing things half-hearted and – if I wasn’t going back fully committed with my heart in it – there was probably no point.
“So I just thought I’d be doing myself an injustice and I’d be doing the team an injustice.
“I just thought the time was right, for the time being anyway – never say never in football – but as of now I’ve played my last game for Down.”