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‘Yup the flats!!!’ – Dublin hero Philly McMahon retires

Philly McMahon has announced his retirement from inter-county football, declaring it was time to “pass the Dublin jersey on”.

he decorated defender confirmed his departure in a statement this morning, bringing the curtain down on a career that delivered a record-equalling eight All-Ireland SFC medals, 11 Leinster titles, six National League victories and back-to-back All-Stars in 2015 and ’16.

McMahon has also won a brace of Dublin SFC medals and one Leinster club title with Ballymun Kickhams.

Now 34, he made his championship baptism under Paul Caffrey in 2008, coming off the bench against Louth that summer.

McMahon was subsequently omitted from the squad by incoming boss Pat Gilroy, but the same manager recalled the player in 2010, launching a decade of incredible success, both collectively and individually.

The player’s abrasive style wasn’t to every neutral’s liking, but he was loved by Hill 16 and proved a hugely effective defensive cog as Dublin monopolised Sam Maguire, hitting a career peak in the middle of the last decade.

His inter-county swansong came as a sub during Dublin’s dramatic defeat to Mayo in their All-Ireland semi-final last August – the county’s first championship defeat in seven years.

McMahon’s retirement is no major surprise as Dessie Farrell seeks to bounce back from this year’s acute disappointment.

He confirmed his departure in the following retirement statement …

“From kicking my ball against the flats of Ballymun, to kicking the ball over the bar in Croke Park, it’s time to pass the Dublin jersey on.

“Fourteen years since my inter-county debut, I could never begin to imagine the journey that would unfold in front of me.

“The journey would not have been possible without the support of the Dublin county board, the thankless work and support of the back room teams.

“The incredible coaching from selectors, in particular Dec Darcy, who has had such an influential impact on my career on and off the pitch.

“The managers Paul Caffrey, Pat Gilroy, Jim Gavin and Dessie Farrell, who all believed in me – thank you!

“To my teammates, the battles, the wins, the losses and special friendships that have been forged forever – thank you!

“It has been an incredible journey, one I will never forget. You gave me a purpose in life, to use sport as a platform to help others that are struggling in life, like my brother John did. You have helped me keep his name alive.

“I’m so lucky and proud to have been shaped by my community, Ballymun. Thank you to everyone within my community that has supported me during my Dublin football journey, I am forever grateful.

“My journey began in Ballymun Kickhams, encouraged by a passionate footballer, Paddy Christie. I am forever grateful for the energy you recognised in me as a young kid and how it could be used on the pitch. Without your support on and off the pitch, I would not have achieved what I have today.

“It has been an honour to represent my club, wearing the sky blue jersey, I hope I made you proud.

“To my late Dad Phil and Mam Val, thank you for every opportunity you gave me, it was all worth it.

“Thank you to my extended family, close friends and work colleagues from Bedo7 and Nutriquick for endless support on and off the pitch.

“To my wife Sarah, thank you for all the support you gave me throughout my career, I will be forever grateful for the sacrifices you have made.

“Lastly to the blue army, what I will miss the most, walking the pitch of Croke Park soaking in your energy, your infectious roars, passionate singing and the unforgettable vibrations of Croke Park!!

“Thank you!”

“Yup the flats!!!”

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