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Published: 09:16 | 5/8/16

O'Kane announces retirement

Former Derry captain Gerard O'Kane has announced his retirement from inter-county football.

O'Kane captained the Derry minors to Ulster and All-Ireland glory in 2002 and went on to enjoy success at senior level, winning the National League title in 2008.

"I would like to officially announce my retirement from the inter-county football scene," O'Kane said.

"Ever since my father started taking me to Derry games as a child, all I have wanted to do was to play for my county.

"From the moment I first pulled on a Derry jersey as a minor in 2001, I could never have expected that 15 years later I would still be playing for my county, having also had the opportunity to captain Derry at minor, under-21 and senior level.

"I have experienced many ups and downs as a player. Throughout it all I have had some great experiences and made some fantastic friendships which stretch far beyond the playing fields.

"I have worked under six different management teams and can say that each one has worked hard for the good of Derry football and to develop both myself and all the players. For that, I am thankful."

He added: "To the supporters of Derry, I would like to thank you all. On a personal level I have received untold support over the years. There are too many moments to mention individually. "However, when I recall them, I hope that the supporters of Derry football continue to follow the team that I now return to being a supporter of for the years to come.

"My own club, Glenullin, has always supported me in playing for Derry. I look forward to continuing my playing career with Glenullin and I want to thank everyone at the club for their support over the years.

"I now return to being an ardent Derry supporter, just as I was before I began my playing career. I look forward to watching Derry teams and players bringing some silverware back to the county in the years to come, but perhaps more importantly, wearing the Oak Leaf jersey with pride and knowing that they have the backing of a county behind them."

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