By Frank Craig
NEIL McGee has decided to bring the curtain down on his glittering Donegal career.
Just weeks shy of his 37th birthday, the Gaoth Dobhair powerhouse bows out with a record 195 appearances under his belt.
But it will be his undeniable contribution to a golden period in Donegal’s history, where five Ulster titles as well as the All-Ireland crown were all lifted, that he’ll be remembered most for.
He walks away as a true Tír Chonaill legend and a player that will go down as one of his county’s best ever. As well as that stunning array of inter-county medals, McGee also picked up three All-Stars in that time and was a regular for his country across a host of International Rules series.
Having made his competitive debut against Fermanagh in the McKenna Cup all the way back in 2005, he tells the Donegal News that now is the right time to step aside.
“The body just doesn’t have anything left to give,” he said. “I thought long and hard about last year, going back I mean. And with Declan (Bonner) staying on, I decided to give it one more shot. But with the back playing up like it did after that injury the season before, I just didn’t feature like I would have wanted. So it was a much easier decision this time around.
“What ever is left in the tank now I intend to give it all to Gaoth Dobhair. I missed so much there over the years because of what we were trying to achieve with Donegal.
“But representing my county, it’s been such a massive part of my life but I can look back and say it was all worth it. I have no regrets. Yeah, there are games and big days that got away from us. And they stick in the throat. But if I could rewind the clock and do it all over again I would.”