MAYO DEFENDER CHRIS Barrett has called time on his inter-county football career after 13 seasons.
2017 All-Star Barrett becomes the latest Green and Red stalwart to retire, after Donal Vaughan, David Clarke, Tom Parsons and Seamus O’Shea all stepped away in the space of four days last week.
While others had been confined to bench roles in recent times, 33-year-old Barrett was a defensive mainstay right up to the close of the 2020 season where his final appearance of 85 — and his 47th championship outing — came in December’s All-Ireland final defeat to Dublin.
The Belmullet native won an All-Ireland U21 medal back in 2006 alongside a number of further future Mayo seniors. Just Keith Higgins and Colm Boyle remain involved as of now, with recently-retired O’Shea, Ger Cafferkey, Barry Moran, Mickey Conroy and Enda Varley among others he started out with.
Barrett graduated to the senior ranks with three Connacht U21 crowns to his name — one of those as captain in 2008. That same year, he made the first of his senior appearances against Derry in the National Football League.
Barrett soon established himself in the backbone of the Mayo squad, and was central as the Westerner’s won seven senior Connacht titles and a Division 1 League title in 2019 through his career.
In all, he earned five All-Star nominations — winning one in ’17 — represented his country against Australia in the 2017 International Rules Series, and has also put down a colourful club journey in the west and east.
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Barrett helped steer Beal an Mhuirthead to a county intermediate title in 2018, but having been based in Dublin for work in recent times, has transferred to Clontarf where he has impressed.
Chris Barrett has today confirmed his retirement from Inter-county football after 13 seasons in the Mayo squad. Mayo GAA would like to thank Chris for his commitment over the last number of years at both underage and senior level.We wish him all the besthttps://t.co/GWIhwqhJpN pic.twitter.com/rtmPzE0tXF
— Mayo GAA (@MayoGAA) January 15, 2021
“After 13 enjoyable years in the Green and Red jersey, I would like to announce my retirement from Inter County Football,” he writes in a parting statement.
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“I feel incredibly privileged to have played alongside some of the most talented and honourable men to ever pull on a Mayo jersey. Not to mention the management teams, the support staff and our loyal supporters that have been central to everything good Mayo GAA has achieved over the last number of years. Thank you to each and every one of you for a memorable journey.
“A special word of thanks to Beal an Mhuirthead GAA for playing a huge part in my development as a player. To my work colleagues in LEPD, for their understanding and help over the last number of years. To my parents, brothers and sister, for being there every step of the way.
“Finally, to Dearbhaile and Isla. Thank you for your unwavering support and your sacrifices, without which I could not have achieved what I did.”
Mayo GAA chairman Liam Moffett led the tributes, noting: “From his excellent debut season as a minor in 2005 to the All-Ireland senior final 2020, Chris consistently delivered top drawer defensive performances.
“Like many of our players Chris never let injures or career related travels dampen his commitment and for that we in Mayo GAA are very grateful.”
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