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Pat Spillane says inter-county retirement posts are a bit ‘smarmy’

pat spillane

“Frankly, these announcements are a bit smarmy.”

Pat Spillane isn’t a fan of recent inter-county retirements, finding them “a bit smarmy” while also blaming social media.

There have been a number of recent retirement announcements, predominantly from Mayo and Kerry.

However, Spillane has bemoaned the fact that all inter-county players are getting social media tributes their way, “whether they have been good, bad or indifferent.”

pat spillane

Pat Spillane.

“An old man who used to frequent our family bar years ago was always bemoaning the fact that in Ireland you had to die before anybody would say a good word about you,” Spillane said in the Irish Independent.

“Not anymore. Inter-county GAA players – irrespective of whether they have been good, bad, or indifferent – can earn instant eulogies these days, by simply announcing they’re quitting.”

pat spillane retirements

Social media.

The Sunday Game pundit is in no doubt of where the blame lies.

“I blame social media. The players’ retirement statements follow a set formula – family, friends, and club are all thanked profusely.

“Then there are the obligatory mentions of the career, team sponsors and the offer of assistance to the team in the future.

“Frankly, these announcements are a bit smarmy.”

david clarke retirement

The eight-time All-Ireland winner with Kerry is left more frustrated by the player’s fellow teammates who reply to the post with their tribute.

“Worse still, however, are the deluge of tributes which these announcements provoke,” Spillane continued.

“It is bewildering. Rather than ring the player and wish him well, even close friends take to social media to publicly express their thanks.

“And, if the retiring player has any profile on social media, before long he will be trending and overnight a legend has been born.”

Spillane on how he announced his retirement.

Ireland, and indeed the world, has changed a lot since 1991 when Pat Spillane himself announced his own retirement.

The nine-time All Star winner left the Kingdom after 18 years playing with his county. During his time with Kerry he won eight All-Irelands, 12 Munster titles and two National Leagues.

He made a total of 56 Championship appearances, scoring a staggering 19-123.

“How times have changed since I announced my retirement from inter-county football in a column in the Sunday World in 1991,” he said.

“It was a case of gone and forgotten. I was no longer of any use to the county – that was the way it was.

“It was a case of suck it up, remember the good times and move on.”

How good would the tributes have been if Spillane had announced his retirement in 2021?

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