Former Laois football star Tom Kelly has been forced to retire from the game because of a neck injury.
Kelly broke a bone in his neck while playing for his Club, St Joseph’s, during a league match last year.
The 2003 GAA All Star has recovered from the injury, but has been advised that it would be unwise to risk playing the game again.
“I’ve been told never to play again because it would be too dangerous. I’m only 31. To think I’ll never play football again is tough to swallow,” he said.
Kelly will be forever linked with the Laois team that ended the county’s 57-year wait for a Leinster GAA Championship in 2003, starring at centre-back in Mick O’Dwyer’s side.
He was rewarded with a GAA All Star that year for his consistently brilliant displays and was selected on the Ireland side for the International Rules Series in Australia.
Two years later, in 2005, Kelly was again selected for his country for the tour Down Under and was named Ireland’s Player of the Series.