Eoin Larkin retires from inter-county hurling
By Cian O'Connell
Kilkenny's Eoin Larkin has decided to retire from inter-county hurling.
During a glittering career Larkin, who made his Championship debut in 2005, won eight All Ireland titles, 10 Leinster SHC medals, six Allianz Hurling Leagues, and two All Stars.
Larkin was also part of All Ireland minor and under 21 winning teams in 2002 and 2004. The James Stephens star list of honours also incldues the 2005 All Ireland Club title.
"After due consideration I have decided that now is the right time for me to announce my inter-county retirement," Larkin said in a statement.
"I have enjoyed 12 of the best years of my life with success I could only have dreamed of.
"It was always my dream from a young age to play, captain and win an All-Ireland with Kilkenny and Im proud and happy to say I lived my dream. I am content to walk away now knowing I gave everything I could for myself, but also the team every time I walked out on the training pitch or pulled on a Kilkenny jersey and left no stone unturned in the pursuit of perfection, although I never got close.
"Ive played with and against some of the best players of all time and had the privilege of working with the best manager of all time for those years."
Brian Cody and Eoin Larkin following the 2015 All Ireland Final win over Galway.
Larkin highlighted the role his family has played. "Doing what I loved doing for 12 years didnt seem like a sacrifice, but although they never said anything I know for a fact my family sacrificed a massive amount for me to fulfil my dream.
"I will never be able to thank my mother enough for the unwavering support in every way possible and my father for his support and the opportunity he gave me from a young age to do what I loved.
"He brought me to trainings and matches and never hesitated when I asked could we go for a few pucks. It was this that allowed me to practice and become the hurler I am today.
"I can never thank my wife Anne enough for the last 12 years of support, advice and often a little pick me up when things werent going so well. I also want to thank my children Mark, Holly, and Ellie for their support and understanding for what I loved doing. It is certainly payback time now."
Larkin also praised Brian Cody's significant influence. "I want to thank Brian for the opportunity of playing for Kilkenny and will be forever grateful. I also want to thank all the selectors, backroom staff and medical teams that Ive worked with. It was often a tough task to keep me fit but they were always more than up for the challenge.
"I will continue to play for my beloved James Stephens for as long as I can and will go in search of further dreams.
Lastly I want to wish Brian and the rest of the lads the very best in 2017.I will certainly be roaring on the black and amber."