Sunday 19 November 2017

'One of the Royal greats' Bray calls it a day

Stephen Bray
Stephen Bray

Former colleagues have led the tributes to Stephen Bray after the veteran Meath forward announced his retirement from inter-county football.

The decision of the 2007 All Star to call time on his Royal career was no surprise, given his age (33) along with increasing commitments outside of football. But he will be sorely missed, according to several now ex-teammates.

"Was a huge pleasure to play with Brayer over the last eight years, learned a lot off him. Be badly missed on and off the pitch. #oneofthegreats," said Graham Reilly on Twitter.

Meanwhile, fellow forward Eamon Wallace tweeted that it was a dream come true to play with Bray. "Learnt so much off him and a true gent. What a player! Will be missed big time. #inspiration," Wallace added.

The Meath county board saluted one of their "finest forwards over the last decade" while wishing him "every success" in the future.

The Navan O'Mahonys man made his SFC debut in 2005 and his Royal swansong came against Tyrone last July.

"My mind is made up," Bray confirmed. "That was firmly in my mind approaching even pre-season last year. I was going to give it one more shot - that helped spur me on.

"It is a natural progression. Unfortunately, that's it."

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