Dublin midfielder Denis Bastick has announced his retirement from inter-county football.
The 36-year-old has hung up his boots 13 years after starting his Dublin career, with a stunning medal haul, including five Senior All-Ireland titles, 1 Junior All-Ireland title, 11 Leinster SFC titles & 4 National League crowns.
He made his Senior championship debut for the Boys in Blue in 2009 and was a key part of the team, as Dublin won their first All-Ireland in 16 years in 2011.
There had been speculation the Templeogue Synge Street midfielder would retire after claiming his third senior All-Ireland crown in 2015, but he stayed on with Jim Gavin’s side, winning further All-Irelands in 2016 and again this year.
Bastick's son Aidan in the Sam Maguire, after the 2016 All-Ireland final. Credit ©INPHO/James Crombie
Bastick released a statement via dublingaa.ie earlier:
“There is no easy time to step away from something that has been a driving goal and the fulfilment of a lifelong ambition. But I feel that now is the right time for me to retire from the Dublin senior football panel.
“I do so with a heavy heart, but equally with an enormous sense of pride and satisfaction to have been a part of what has and continues to be a golden era for Dublin football.
Playing for Dublin is something I have never taken lightly. It has been both an honour and a privilege to wear a sky blue jersey, to run out onto a full Croke Park and to have been a part of Dublin county panels since 2005.
I have been fortunate to win an All-Ireland junior medal and five All-Ireland senior medals in this time – but of equal value to me are the friendships and the memories that I have amassed along this journey and these are things I will cherish.
There was a time when simply making a Dublin training panel was an all-consuming ambition, then staying there and trying to make the bus for the match day panel, then the starting team and trying to bring Sam Maguire back to the Capital. Apart from the injuries – I would gladly do it all again.
To have captained the junior squad under Mick Deegan, Mick Galvin and Jack Sheedy and been on the senior squads under Pillar Caffrey, Pat Gilroy and Jim Gavin was an honour I treasure, and I would like to greatly thank the assistance given to me by John Costello and the Dublin County Board and successive back room teams and medical teams over this time. A special thank you also to the Gaelic Players Association for their continued support of me and players all over the country. Sincere thanks to my employer EBS for facilitating my commitment to my sport.
Playing for Dublin is special, and I feel blessed to have battled alongside so many special footballers who were a constant source of inspiration through their dedication, commitment and loyalty to the cause of bringing glory to Dublin and raising silverware in front of the Hill.
I owe a debt of gratitude to my wife Jody for her love and support. To my two-year-old son Aiden and my 6 month old daughter Clara -Jane who inspire me every day and who I have had the privilege to carry up the steps of the Hogan Stand to lift the Sam Maguire. To my parents, family and friends for allowing me to pursue my dream, only they will know the sacrifices they have made on my behalf.
I want to also acknowledge Sean McKieran, Alan O’Brien and everyone in my club Templeogue Synge Street, who have played a significant role in my success, for their constant support and encouragement and I look forward to moving from county to club and being able to give back more time to them in the years ahead.
Lastly, to the Dublin fans who were on the road with us on dark days, cold days and glory days – a heartfelt thank you for your unwavering support through it all.
Stepping away from this group of outstanding athletes and people is not easy. But I look forward to seeing them continue and cheering them on the journey of being the best they can be and maximising the precious time that they have in that most sacred jersey.
Ath Cliath Abú