Keith Higgins became the latest in a line of Mayo footballers to announce his retirement from inter-county football last weekend.
The Ballyhaunis club man made his announcement on Twitter last Saturday, saying in a short statement: "The time has come to step away. It’s been an unbelievable journey and an absolute privilege. Thank you." The Mayo GAA County Board issued a statement saying he had informed them of his intention to step away from the senior inter-county footballers.
However, Higgins, who is a dual player and has soldiered with Mayo hurlers alongside his football commitments, hasn't said that he is leaving the small ball game.
As recently as last winter, Higgins put in a man-of-the-match performance for Ballyhaunis in the senior county hurling final and would be a welcome full-time addition to Derek Walsh's senior hurlers for the upcoming season as they look to make their way out of the Nicky Rackard Cup.
As a footballer, Higgins was regarded as one of the best defenders in the game, with the 35-year-old making his senior inter-county debut in 2005 against Dublin in the National Football League and his last appearance coming in last year's Connacht Senior Football Championship Final. He made 75 championship appearances for the football team during his long run in the side.
In 2006 he was captain of the Mayo u21 football team that won the All Ireland u21 championship, beating Cork in the final in Ennis - he was also named the All Star Young Footballer of the Year that season.
Higgins won four All Stars during his time with Mayo and the Mayo senior footballers along with eight Connacht Senior Football Championships and a National Football League winners medal.
Mayo GAA Chairman, Liam Moffatt said in a statement: "Mayo GAA would like to sincerely thank Keith for his immense contribution and commitment to Mayo GAA throughout his distinguished playing career. We wish Keith all the best in 2021 and beyond."