Only a week after the great Stevie McDonnell called time on his inter-county career, Armagh goalkeeper Paul Hearty has decided to hang up his boots.
The big Crossmaglen netminder steps down after 12 distinguished years with the Orchard County and like McDonnell last week – they’re very tech savvy and social media aware in Armagh – he announced the decision on his Twitter page last night.
While Hearty will no doubt miss the cut and thrust of inter-county football, he packed a lot into his 12-year career and you will be hard pressed to find a more medal-laden goalkeeper throughout the country.
Hearty was a sub on the famous Armagh side that won the Ulster and All-Ireland titles in 2002 and after that he claimed a further four Ulster titles, a National League Division One title in 2005, a National League Division Two title in 2010 and an Ulster under-21 title in 1998.
Not only that, but by virtue of being the number one on the greatest club team of all-time, his mantelpiece also contains a scarcely believable 15 County Championship winning medals, nine Ulster club titles and five All-Ireland club titles.
It’s no wonder he’s calling it a day, as to fit any more medals and trophies in, he’d probably have to build an extension onto his house!
At 33, some would argue that Hearty has a little left in the locker, but his decision to step aside leaves a vacancy between the sticks in the Orchard County, which Philip McEvoy is likely to fill for the foreseeable future.
We wish you the best, Paul.