Long-serving Sligo stalwart and Cork’s Belfast-born defender retire from inter-county football

Updated May 10th 2021, 7:18 PM

SLIGO FOOTBALLER NEIL Ewing has announced his retirement from the senior inter-county game.

The 33-year-old defender started out in 2008 and featured in three Connacht finals. Success eluded him in those clashes against Roscommon in 2010 and twice against Mayo (2012 and 2015).

Ewing outlined how injury had been a reason behind his decision to bow out.

“Dodged injury for a long time but luck couldn’t last forever. At the minute the body is not willing to do what the heads is telling it. It was a childhood dream to pull on the Sligo jersey. An honour to have enjoyed the opportunity to do so.

“From 2008 it has been a privilege beyond words to get to play alongside some who were heroes growing up, some who will be future stars and some whose monumental, unseen, commitment to train/travel/prepare didn’t get them a regular run in the 1-15 jersey.”

Grateful to have had the opportunity to fulfil a childhood dream. Time for the terrace. pic.twitter.com/jbATeJIfzy

— Neil Ewing (@Bob__Ewing) May 10, 2021

The Drumcliffe-Rosses Point club man admitted his regret at not landing that provincial honour.

“Hugely disappointing to not have a Connacht championship medal. Will forever regret a free I gave away in 2010. Did everything I could, in my limited capabilities, to make up for that moment.

“In the absence of achieving ambitions I have to take solace in the great experiences shared, friends made and support received along the way.”

Confirmation also from @OfficialCorkGAA selector Sean Hayes that @carrigoon @Lockaldhino has called time on his inter-county career.
Best of luck to James who played some outstanding games in the red jersey.
Game v @KildareGAA live on @BigRedBench @C103Cork pic.twitter.com/cWPJMW0WVa

— Finbarr Mc Carthy (@FiFinnymac) May 10, 2021

Elsewhere this evening, it has been confirmed that Cork’s James Loughrey has called time on his inter-county career.

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Local radio station 96fm reported the news this evening, days after The Echo first broke the Belfast-born defender’s retirement story.

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Having played for Antrim before, Loughrey joined the Rebel set-up at the start of 2013 when he moved to live and work on Leeside.

The 34-year-old established himself as a mainstay in the Cork defence from there — though recently struggled with injury — while playing his club football with Mallow.  

– additional reporting from Emma Duffy.

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