Colm ‘The Gooch’ Cooper has announced his retirement from inter-county Gaelic football following a glittering career with Kerry.
Widely regarded as one of greatest ever footballers to play the game, Cooper’s 15 year career in the green and yellow of Kerry saw him earn five All Ireland medals, nine Munster titles and eight All Stars.
All that was missing from the 33-year-old’s long list of achievements was an All Ireland senior club title with his beloved Dr. Crokes but Cooper helped the club end their 25-year wait for the club title last month when they defeated Slaughtneil in Croke Park.
Scoring a goal in the final to help his club to glory was a fitting end to one of the most storied careers in modern GAA.
Back in October, the team here at Pundit Arena released exclusive news that Cooper would retire once Dr Croke’s campaign had come to an end. Failing to feature for Kerry since his club’s All Ireland success on St. Patrick’s Day, the rumour mill kicked into gear and it was suggested The Gooch had decided to go out on a high. On Tuesday the Kerry legend confirmed as much.
Best wishes Gooch. The best ever. No one that I've seen could lace his boots. And I don't say that lightly. Enjoy retirement my man ???
— Tomás Ó Sé (@tomas5ky) April 4, 2017
Kerry fans must now come to terms with a Kerry side that will no longer feature their hero.
Dr. Crokes will continue to enjoy The Gooch’s commitment and skill as he looks set to continue with his club football for now at least.
The Kingdom face arch-rivals Dublin this weekend in the Allianz Football League Final and they must do so now without Cooper there to inspire and lead his county to glory.
Gary Brennan, Pundit Arena