Long-serving Sligo stalwart and Cork’s Belfast-born defender retire from inter-county football

Updated May 10th 2021, 7:18 PM

SLIGO FOOTBALLER NEIL Ewing has announced his retirement from the senior inter-county game.

The 33-year-old defender started out in 2008 and featured in three Connacht finals. Success eluded him in those clashes against Roscommon in 2010 and twice against Mayo (2012 and 2015).

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Ewing outlined how injury had been a reason behind his decision to bow out.

“Dodged injury for a long time but luck couldn’t last forever. At the minute the body is not willing to do what the heads is telling it. It was a childhood dream to pull on the Sligo jersey. An honour to have enjoyed the opportunity to do so.

“From 2008 it has been a privilege beyond words to get to play alongside some who were heroes growing up, some who will be future stars and some whose monumental, unseen, commitment to train/travel/prepare didn’t get them a regular run in the 1-15 jersey.”

Grateful to have had the opportunity to fulfil a childhood dream. Time for the terrace. pic.twitter.com/jbATeJIfzy

— Neil Ewing (@Bob__Ewing) May 10, 2021

The Drumcliffe-Rosses Point club man admitted his regret at not landing that provincial honour.

“Hugely disappointing to not have a Connacht championship medal. Will forever regret a free I gave away in 2010. Did everything I could, in my limited capabilities, to make up for that moment.

“In the absence of achieving ambitions I have to take solace in the great experiences shared, friends made and support received along the way.”

Confirmation also from @OfficialCorkGAA selector Sean Hayes that @carrigoon @Lockaldhino has called time on his inter-county career.
Best of luck to James who played some outstanding games in the red jersey.
Game v @KildareGAA live on @BigRedBench @C103Cork pic.twitter.com/cWPJMW0WVa

— Finbarr Mc Carthy (@FiFinnymac) May 10, 2021

Elsewhere this evening, it has been confirmed that Cork’s James Loughrey has called time on his inter-county career.

Local radio station 96fm reported the news this evening, days after The Echo first broke the Belfast-born defender’s retirement story.

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Having played for Antrim before, Loughrey joined the Rebel set-up at the start of 2013 when he moved to live and work on Leeside.

The 34-year-old established himself as a mainstay in the Cork defence from there — though recently struggled with injury — while playing his club football with Mallow.  

– additional reporting from Emma Duffy.

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