Lake County stalwarts retire

December 08, 2010

Westmeath's Damien Healy
Westmeath's two longest serving footballers, Martin Flanagan and Damien Healy, have announced their inter-county retirements.

The veteran pair, who were part of the same county minor team in 1994 and have given over 30 years' service between them to the senior side, have informed manager Pat Flanagan that they won't be returning in 2011.

Tyrrellspass clubman Flanagan is considered to be one of the finest talents the county has ever produced, but retires without a Leinster medal to his name after falling out of favour with then manager Paidi O Se during the successful 2004 campaign. Equally at home at midfield or full forward, he made his championship debut against Wexford in 1995 and went on to win National League Division 2 medals in 2001, '03 and '08.

St. Mary's player Healy made his made his National League debut against Antrim in 1996 and his Leinster championship debut against Carlow in 1998. Renowned for his speed and versatility, he also won National League Division 2 medals in 2001, '03 and '08, and was centre back on the 2004 Leinster championship winning team.

He also won Railway Cup honours with Leinster.

News of Flanagan and Healy's retirement comes on the same day as another stalwart, Derek Heavin, announced that he has been forced to retire from football due to the horrific knee injury he sustained in this year's Leinster SFC semi-final against Louth.

While it's still unclear what John Keane's future intentions are, other long-serving stars such as Michael Ennis, Dessie Dolan and Gary Connaughton are expected to make themselves available for selection next year.

Meanwhile, dual stars Paul Greville, Philip Jordan and Brendan Murtagh have indicated their willingness to combine both codes in the coming season.

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