Peter the Great hangs up the green and gold

Peter Crowley in typical pose as he fends off a Rebel challenge during the white heat of battle in a Kerry v Cork Munster Championship clash

KERRY fans’ favourite Peter Crowley has retired from inter-county football.

The no-nonsense defender has opted to hang up his green and gold jersey after a great career which saw him earn a deserved reputation as one of the best man-markers and attacking half-backs in the game.

The Laune Rangers clubman has been a key member of the senior panel for a decade but his playing career had been hampered significantly over the past two seasons due to a cruciate ligament tear and a dislocated knee.

That devastating injury, sustained while playing with his club in an intermediate clash with Castleisland Desmonds, saw him miss out on the entire 2019 championship campaign and Kerry’s early 2020 Allianz League games but, displaying real grit, he fought his way back into contention and his was again one of the first names pencilled in on any team-sheet.

A busy pharmacist in his native Killorglin, it is understood he made his decision to retire due to work commitments and previous injury concerns even though he is still relatively young and won’t celebrate his 31st birthday until next month.

Out with a long-term knee injury, Peter Crowley took on the role of maor uisce for Kerry’s 2019 All-Ireland final clash with Dublin

Tough tackling and wholly committed, Crowley is the fourth Kerry player to retire this year following the decision by Killarney Legion duo, Jonathan Lyne and Brian Kelly and Tarbert’s Shane Enright to step away.

After a string of impressive performances for Laune Rangers and Mid Kerry, Peter joined the Kerry set-up 2011 after catching the eye of then manager Jack O’Connor.

He won an All-Ireland senior medal in the victory against Donegal in 2014 and he was selected on that year’s All-Star team.

A past pupil of Killorglin Intermediate School, Crowley also won seven Munster SFC medals and two National League titles and he won a Sigerson Cup with UCC where he studied pharmacy.

Kerry manager, Peter Keane, who will miss the steel the Laune Rangers’ man brought to the defence, paid tribute to the exceptional player who is a close business neighbour in Killorglin.

“Peter Crowley will be missed particularly for his energy, determination and experience on the training field and in the dressing room,” he said.

“I’d like to wish Peter the best of luck and thank him for the commitment he has always shown to the green and gold,” Keane added.