Colm O’Neill retires from inter-county football

Colm O’Neill pictured with the Sam Maguire Cup in 2010 after he helped Cork win the All ireland title. Pic, S Murphy.

All Ireland winning footballer Colm O’Neill has announced his retirement from inter-county football, bringing to an end a distinguished career in the Cork jersey which saw him win All Irelands at senior and U21 levels, plus Munster and National League titles, and an All Star Award. In all, he made 35 championship appearances for Cork, scoring 7-79, won a Sigerson Cup medal with Cork IT, travelled to Australia to play with the Irish International Rules squad, and also represented his native Ballyclough with distinction for many years. Colm’s football achievements are remarkable, considering the many setbacks he received over the years, particularly the three cruciate ligament injuries he suffered at various times, all of which he overcame to come back as strong as ever. This year he picked up a knee injury in the Munster semi-final in May between Cork and Tipperary, but he recovered to come on as a substitute in the Munster Final loss to Kerry, but he had another setback which occurred after that game and was forced to sit out Cork’s championship exit against Tyrone. In the weeks following this, O’Neill reflected on his future, and on the advice of medical staff decided to retire, informing Cork manager Ronan McCarthy of his decision last Friday.
Speaking this week, Colm said, “For me, it was a huge honour and privilege to represent Cork for the last 12 years. It has not always been rosy and there were many dark days, but from the start I have had great support through my family, fiancée Claire and wide circle of friends and colleagues who helped me through those challenging times.
“I count myself extremely lucky to have played on many great teams with great team-mates and friends – the highlight of course in 2010 winning an All-Ireland.”
“I’d have to thank all the numerous coaches and managers with Cork and Ballyclough who have helped me develop from a young age, and I had brilliant help and support from all the medical teams in Cork over the years.
“I’m looking forward to supporting Cork football teams in the future and want to thank Cork people for the support I received over the years,” he said.