Derry forward Lynch retires from inter-county football

Mark Lynch
Lynch was 16 when he played in Derry's 2002 All-Ireland winning Minor side

Long-serving Derry forward Mark Lynch has announced his retirement from the inter-county game.

The 32-year-old Banagher club man said it felt the right time to quit because of family and work commitments.

Current team boss Damian McErlain described Lynch as a class act and someone who had given unstinting service to the Oak Leaf county.

"Mark was a manager's dream and a role model who made a positive impact on those around him," said McErlain.

"He had a great footballing brain and was someone you always wanted on the ball."

Lynch, who moved up to the senior ranks after being part of Derry's All-Ireland Minor title triumph in 2002, said it broke his heart to think he would never don the Oak Leaf shirt again.

"I grew up wanting to represent my club and county, and it has been a privilege to do both," he said.

"There was always a buzz wearing the red and white."

Lynch's retirement will be a blow to Derry who will go into the league campaign in January hoping to bounce back from relegation to Division Four.