ICYMI: Dean Rock retired this week

ICYMI: Dean Rock retired this week

Dean Rock, an eight-time All-Ireland winner with Dublin, announced his intercounty retirement from the Dublin senior footballers this week.

The Ballymun Kickhams man has won an astonishing 8 All-Ireland Senior Football titles, 12 Leinster SFC titles, six National Football League winners' medals, one U21 All-Ireland title, two U21 Leinster winners' medals, and three All-Stars since making his Dublin debut in 2013.

In October 2020, Rock broke Jimmy Keaveney's record as Dublin’s most prolific player. A goal in a league game against Meath in Parnell Park took his tally in blue to 17-442 (493) in 95 games.

Dublin’s Dean Rock isn't planning to retire. (Image: Ray McManus/Sportsfile via Getty)

One of Rock's most famous moments was the winning point in the 2017 All-Ireland decider against Mayo, and he also scored a first-minute goal against the same opposition in the 2020 final.

There had been speculation that Rock would continue into the 2024 GAA season, but the 33-year-old's final game was this year's 2023 All-Ireland Final, where he scored a point as Dublin beat Kerry.

Rock announced his retirement this week with a statement

Dean Rock's full retirement statement:

"The time has come for me to hang up the blue jersey and end my playing career with the Dublin senior football team. I now step aside fulfilled, knowing that I made the most of the opportunity that was given to me. What started as a young boy's dream in the back garden to eventually living my dream of representing Dublin is something I take immense pride in," said Rock on the Dublin GAA's website this week.

"The last 16 years of playing for Dublin GAA would not have been possible without the care and support of so many.

"I would like to thank the Dublin County Board staff, coaches, and officials for all they do and all they have done for me throughout the years.

"To my own club, Ballymun Kickhams, I am forever grateful to all the managers, coaches, and players who nurtured my love of the game. I look forward to working alongside all club members to help develop the next generation in the years to come.

"To the Dublin supporters, thank you for always bringing the noise and unwavering support wherever we went. It was always a great source of strength for me and the team."

Rock then went on to thank his family members for helping him enjoy his extraordinary success with Dublin.

"To my incredible family, who always had my back no matter what, thank you for your love, loyalty, and encouragement. I hope I made you proud and that you got as much joy from the last number of years as I did," he added.

"A special mention goes to my mom and dad, who are the main reason that I got the opportunity in the first place. Your constant support and belief in me never waned. You taught me to always pursue my dream, and you inspired me to chase it.

"To my wife, Niamh, your unconditional love has helped me through the ups and downs over the years, and I am excited about what the future holds. Having our daughter Sadie on the pitch after last year's All-Ireland final is one of my proudest moments."

Rock concluded the statement by thanking his Dublin teammates and everyone involved in the journey.

"Finally, to the many Dublin teammates, managers, coaches, performance staff, medical staff, and support staff, I’ve made special memories with each one of you from our time together that I will cherish forever. Thank you for your devotion to the Dublin GAA and for giving it your all.

"To Dessie, James, and all the boys, the very best of luck for the season ahead.

"With every ending, there is a new beginning. I look forward to seeing what that will bring.

"Thank you, Dean Rock."