Waterford hurling hero Tony Browne has announced his retirement from intercounty hurling after 23 years of service to the Déise county.
The 40-year-old made his debut in 1991, went on to represent Waterford in 67 championship matches scoring 4-41. He won four Munster Titles (2002, 2004, 2007, 2010) and 3 All Star Awards (1998, 2006, 2007). He was also Player of the year in 1998 when Waterford made their breakthrough by reaching their first All Ireland semi-final since 1963.
He will undoubtedly be remembered as one of the greatest players never to win an All Ireland medal and one of the greatest hurlers of his generation.
Browne this evening released a statement through the Gaelic Players Association (GPA)
I would like to take this opportunity to officially announce my retirement from inter-county hurling.
I have loved and embraced every moment wearing the Waterford jersey from my earliest days. However, I know the time is now right for me to bring the curtain down on my county career.
I am so proud in knowing I have given my all to Waterford hurling. It is now time for others to enjoy and cherish the same honour and pride that I felt over the past 23 years representing Waterford.
It goes without saying the Waterford supporters are amongst the greatest in the GAA. I personally want to thank you for everything all through the years. I will cherish those cheers and your support for all time.
Tributes have been pouring in on Twitter.
Best wishes to the legendary Tony Browne who has announced his retirement from Inter Co.Hurling.Thanks for the many memories. Inspirational
— Waterford GAA (@WaterfordGAA) April 17, 2014
Given length of service and playing careers at highest level, do sports fans hold someone like Tony Browne or Ryan Giggs in higher regard?
— Evanne Ní Chuilinn (@EvanneNiC) April 17, 2014
— Des Cahill (@sportsdes) April 17, 2014
— Seán Bán Breathnach (@SBBinashui) April 17, 2014
You can read the GPA statement in full here