Armagh legend Brendan Donaghy has retired from inter-county football following an outstanding 17-year career.
Donaghy had been a real leader in the team for a number of years and one of the best of his generation.
His presence will be sorely felt in the changing room next season. Injury had curtailed his impact over the last two years.
He made his debut in the 2006 McKenna Cup and earned his championship debut in 2007 against Donegal. Donaghy went on to make 138 appearances for Armagh, with his last coming in the 2021 championship against Antrim.
It was a cold January afternoon in Brewster Park when Brendan Donaghy was handed his Orchard County debut.
The Clonmore native was introduced as a substitute by Joe Kernan, replacing Paul Duffy in the defence.
That was Donaghy’s one and only appearance in 2006, but he played nine times the following year, including both championship outings.
His championship debut came in Ballybofey against Donegal in the opening round of the 2007 Ulster Championship.
Armagh, defending their three-in-a-row of Ulster titles, lost out to the hosts thanks to a last-minute Brendan Devenney goal.
Donaghy helped Armagh get their hands back on the Anglo Celt in 2008 after a replay with Fermanagh. Donaghy came on in the second game, replacing Francie Bellew at full back.
With several of the 2002 All-Ireland winning crop having dropped of the team, Armagh struggled in the years after.
Following their Ulster success in 2008, Armagh picked up another trophy two years later, this time a league title.
The Orchard County defeated Down in the Division Two league final in Croke Park, with Donaghy lining out at full back.
Donaghy also picked up two Division Three winners medals in 2015 and 2018 with Armagh seeing off Fermanagh on both occasions.
Donaghy also won an Ulster under 21 medal in 2007. He played full back on the Armagh side that defeated Monaghan 1-16 to 1-9 before losing to Cork in the All-Ireland semi-final.
In 2011, Donaghy lined out for the UUJ side that lost to UCC in the Sigerson Cup final by three-points.
Donaghy scored 0-8 during his time in the orange and white, with his first ever scoring coming against Down in the 2008 championship.
He’d have to wait another four years before splitting the posts again. This time he recorded another point against Donegal in the league.
In 2013 Donaghy fired over 0-1 against Wicklow in the qualifiers and notched 0-3 in the 2016 season.
He raised a white flags against Cavan (McKenna Cup), Galway (League) and Laois (championship).
Donaghy chipped in with a memorable point against Kildare in 2017 as Armagh reached the All-Ireland quarter-finals.
He’s final score in an Armagh shirt came in the 2019 qualifier victory over Monaghan in Clones.