Donegal's most decorated footballer, Karl Lacey, has announced his retirement from intercounty football.
The four-time All-Star played his last game for Donegal against Galway in Markievicz Park in the All-Ireland Qualifiers.
The Four Masters man was one of the most polished performers to wear a Donegal jersey and represented the county at every level.
His retirement was announced this evening in a statement issues through Donegal GAA.
"Having allowed some dust to settle on our season, I now feel ready to announce my retirement from the Donegal senior football team.
"I have experienced almost everything with the Donegal footballers over these past 14 seasons and more, from desperate defeats to the crowning glory winning the Sam Maguire in 2012 and everything in between.
"They are games and days and friendships that will live with me forever.
"I am thankful for the opportunities given to me over the course of my career, and grateful to the players who played alongside me and the coaches who guided me throughout it.
"With them, I was able to win League, Ulster, All-Ireland and individual honours, and for that I very thankful. In addition to my time with Donegal, I was honoured to be selected for my country and play in the 2006 and 2011 International Rules series.
"Now, I embark on a different phase of my life – that of a former county footballer.
"I will continue to play with Four Masters, with whom I first kicked a ball and with whom I will kick my last.
"I am enjoying increased responsibility in my job at LYIT and I have enjoyed dipping my toe into coaching in recent times, most recently with the Donegal development squads.
"I am soon to be married to my fiancee Ciara. Our son Noah has been a light in both our lives. They have made many sacrifices so that I could continue to pursue my inter county career and I am eternally grateful to them for that."
Donegal GAA Statement
Cumann Lúthchleas Gael Dhún na nGall wishes to acknowledge the contribution of Karl Lacey to our county teams over the course of 14 seasons at adult level.
Donegal’s most decorated footballer, Karl has been a tremendous ambassador for the county throughout that time, and was rightly honoured with 4 All Star awards and the ultimate Footballer of the Year award in 2012.
He was, of course, an integral part of the Donegal squad that brought such success to the county over recent years on the provincial and national stages. The exploits of that team, and the joy it brought to Donegal people at home and abroad will live long in the memory.
As well as playing with the seniors this year, Karl also served as a strength and conditioning coach with the county under-age development squads. We are delighted that he is giving the benefit of his experience to the next generation of Donegal footballers.
We extend every good wish to Karl in his retirement.
KARL LACEY FACTFILE
Karl Lacey made his championship debut with Donegal in 2004 as a substitute versus Antrim.
In the course of the past 14 seasons, he played a record-equalling 65 championship matches with Donegal. (A record he shares with Christy Toye.)
In all, he has played 148 times for the Donegal senior football team.
In that time, he won:
1 x Donegal SFC with Four Masters in 2003
1 x Buncrana Cup (U16) in 2000
1 x NFL Division 2 in 2011
1 x NFL Division 1 in 2007
3 x Ulster Senior Football Championship in 2011, 2012, 2014
1 x All-Ireland Senior Football Championship in 2012
3 x Railway Cup in 2007, 2009, 2012.
2 International Rules Series 2006, 2011
4 x All Star awards in 2006, 2009, 2011 and 2012
1 x GAA Footballer of the Year 2012