Kerry forward Tommy Walsh retires from inter-county football

Kerry GAA Tommy Walsh

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Kerry forward Tommy Walsh has retired from inter-county football with Kerry GAA after two spells with the side lasting eight years in total.

Walsh informed Kerry chiefs of his decision today after the climax of the 2021 season, which saw the county fall to Tyrone in the All-Ireland semi-final after winning the Munster Senior Football Championship – his final appearance for the team.

The 33-year-old won two All-Ireland Senior Football Championships with the Kingdom in the first decade of the 21st century – he began his senior football career on their panel in 2007.

The full-forward played a starring role in the 2009 decider against Cork in which he scored four points to help his side to victory and earn his second Celtic Cross.

Tommy did so under Jack O’Connor but will not return to play for the former Kildare senior football manager.

The Kerins O’Rahilly’s man lined out for his county again in the 2015 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship but left the panel before the 2016 instalment, returning in 2019 to play under Peter Keane as the county reached the final for the first time since 2015.

In his time away from the panel after 2009, Walsh played in the Australian Football League with St. Kilda and the Sydney Swans.

He lined out for the Ireland international rules team in the 2010 International Rules series against Australia, which his native country hosted.

Kerry GAA Chairman Tim Murphy released a statement confirming Walsh’s departure: “Earlier [Monday] Tommy Walsh confirmed his decision to retire from the Kerry Senior Football Panel.

“Tommy began his inter-county career as a Minor and quickly progressed through to U-21 and Senior Ranks.

“In the 2009 All-Ireland Series Tommy produced some memorable performances culminating in the All-Ireland Final win over Cork when he contributed a quarter of Kerry’s Scores on the day.

“In October 2009 Tommy moved to Australia where he played Professional AFL until the end of 2014 and re-joined the Kerry Set up for the 2015/216 seasons.

“Over the past two years in particular Tommy’s leadership on and off the field has helped to encourage, motivate, and successfully integrate many of our younger players onto the panel.

“On behalf of all Kerry supporters, I wish to sincerely thank and acknowledge Tommy for all he has done and wish him the very best in the future.”

Kerry GAA senior football manager Jack O’Connor said: “It was with sadness that I learned today of Tommy Walsh’s decision to retire from the Kerry Senior football panel.

“I coached Tommy for two years firstly in 2008 with Kerins O’ Rahilly’s when he was instrumental in helping the Club to a County Final and in 2009 with Kerry.

“He gave one of the great exhibitions to the 2009 All Ireland final against Cork when he scored four great points – two from either foot. Like his father Seanie, he was a man for the big occasion and raised his game accordingly.

“I wish him all the best in retirement, and I hope he continues to enjoy a fruitful Club career for many years to come.”

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