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Seven-time All-Ireland winner Daly retires

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Dublin’s Darren Daly has retired

Dublin’s Darren Daly has retired

SPORTSFILE

Dublin’s Darren Daly has retired

Bernard Brogan has praised Darren Daly for driving "the standards of this Dublin team over the years," following his retirement yesterday from inter-county football.

Speaking to the Herald, Brogan explained how Daly had "pushed himself and the rest of the team to be the best version of themselves both on and off the pitch".

He added: "He personified the culture that this team built over the years, hard-working, hard-hitting and humble."

Brogan added that Daly is "a true gentleman and an ultimate role model."

Daly's retirement ends a Dublin career in which he quietly amassed seven All-Ireland medals.

In a statement, released via the county board's official website, the 33-year-old explained that he could no longer "push the body" to the levels required.

"With a number of recurring injuries over the past few months it's now the right time for me to step away."

Daly stressed he was "extremely lucky to have been part of such a successful team.

"I'm grateful to have learned so much from being with them, made so many friends for life and have some of the best memories imaginable."

He thanked the "managers, selectors, coaches and physios who guided and pushed me along the way."

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A hugely popular player within the Dublin squad, Daly rose to prominence for his role in Dublin's 2008 All-Ireland-winning Junior team. On the back of that success, he joined the likes of Denis Bastick, Eoghan O'Gara, Jonny Cooper and Mick Fitzsimons in graduating to the Dublin senior set-up under Pat Gilroy.

Paying tribute via Twitter, Cooper said that Daly had "sacrificed everything for his team-mates and the jersey time after time after time…"

He became the first Fingal Ravens player to win an All-Ireland medal as part of Gilroy's panel in 2011 and has quietly gone about collecting six more, without ever starting a final.

Along with Stephen Cluxton, Michael Fitzsimons, Cian O'Sullivan, James McCarthy, Michael Darragh MacAuley, Bernard Brogan, Eoghan O'Gara, Philly McMahon and Kevin McManamon, he has collected seven Celtic Crosses.

Only Kerry legends, Pat Spillane, Páidí Ó Sé, Mikey Sheehy, Denis 'Ógie' Moran and Ger Power, have more in football.

A technically sound and tenacious defender, Daly's most recent big-game intervention came in the final throes of the 2016 All-Ireland final replay, when he smothered an injury time shot from Tom Parsons, with Dublin just a point up.