Monday, January 04, 2021

David Clarke has today confirmed his retirement as goalkeeper of the Mayo senior football team. The Ballina man’s decision comes after 20 years of service to the Mayo senior football squad. He made a total of 133 appearances for the Mayo team, joining the panel that claimed the National Football League title in 2001 and making his league debut in 2002 against Kildare. The first of his 56 championship appearances didn’t come until three years later against Roscommon.

During his 20 years in the senior squad he won eight Connacht titles, two National Leagues and two GAA/GPA All-Stars. At underage level for Mayo he won back to back Connacht minor titles in 2000 and 2001. At U21 level he claimed three Connacht titles in 2001, 2003 and 2004. He also won an All-Ireland Club title with Ballina Stephenites in 2005. 

“Today I have decided it is the right time for me to step away from Mayo senior football team,” said Clarek in a statement. “I have lived my dream and taken so much from the experience. I want to thank all of my past managers, coaches, medical staff and county board officials, from when I was U16, minor, U21 and senior. I’d like to give a special mention to my goalkeeper coaches Eugene Lavin, Peter Burke and Tom Higgins who helped bring out the best in me.

“I’m grateful to my club, Ballina, their coaches and my school teachers who helped me develop as a player and to love the game. I am grateful to my work colleagues in An Garda Siochana, your support and flexibility ensured I was able to compete at the highest level.”

Clarke continued: “Special thanks to my parents, Frank and Gertie and my sister, Sarah, who always supported and encouraged me. To my wife, Paula and daughters, Sadie and Lucy thanks for your understanding and support while I lived my dream. To the Mayo supporters, thank you for the support, it does make a difference.

“Finally, to all the players I have played with, it was an honour to wear the jersey with you. I now look forward to giving more time to my club and returning to being a Mayo fan again.”

Thanking David for his “outstanding dedication and performances” for Mayo over the past two decades, Maoy GAA chairman Liam Moffatt said it was the so many countless unseen hours of hard work and dedication that provided the platform for the player’s consistency and longevity.

“As part of his journey he has also dealt with serious injuries and it is a testimony to his character to not only to have returned to play from these but to deliver the performances of the highest standard. Whether it be a training session, club game or an inter-county championship match, David has always applied that same dedicated, meticulous approach and one for which we in Mayo GAA are very grateful for.”

The announcement of David Clarke’s retirement comes 24 hours after Mayo teammate Donal Vaughan also revealed he had decided to step away from inter-county football.


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