Tony Browne has announced his retirement from inter-county hurling with Waterford.
It is now time for others to enjoy and cherish the same honour and pride that I felt over the past 23 years representing Waterford
The 40-year-old Mount Sion clubman enjoyed an extraordinary career with the Déise, making his debut in a league match against Galway back in 1991. He soon became a Waterford regular, but it was a number of years before Waterford emerged from the hurling doldrums to compete for the top prizes.
It was in the second half of Browne's career that he enjoyed the greatest success. He won four Munster Senior Hurling Championship medals with Waterford, in 2002, 2004, 2007 and 2010, and also a National League title in 2007.
His only All-Ireland senior final appearance came in 2008, when Waterford were heavily beaten by a Kilkenny side at the peak of their powers. He did win an All-Ireland U21 medal with the Déise though, captaining them to glory in 1992.
A revered figure for his skill, athleticism and above all else, incredible longevity at the elite level of the game, Browne won All Stars in 1998, 2006 and 2007, and won the Hurler of the Year award in 1998.
In a statement released through the GPA, he said: "I would like to take this opportunity to officially announce my retirement from inter-county hurling.
"To do so is always a tough decision for any athlete but I know I have been blessed in so many ways to have experienced what I have with the Waterford hurling teams over the past three decades.
"I have loved and embraced every moment wearing the Waterford jersey from my earliest days. However, I know the time is now right for me to bring the curtain down on my county career.
"I am so proud in knowing I have given my all to Waterford hurling. It is now time for others to enjoy and cherish the same honour and pride that I felt over the past 23 years representing Waterford.
"Throughout those years I had the honour of playing with and against some of the greatest players ever seen in the game. I would like to thank all of the past and present players for their wonderful support and friendship throughout my career.
"I'd also like to take this opportunity to thank all the coaches the back-room teams over the years and indeed the medical staff who helped me to prolong my career way beyond expectation.
"I was very fortunate to have played under so many fantastic managers, all of whom contributed greatly to my career.
"I would like to pay a special tribute to my club Mount Sion and my club colleagues for their support and guidance in helping me fulfil my potential as a hurler and as a person. The backing of my club enabled me to compete at the very highest level and follow my dreams.
"It goes without saying the Waterford supporters are amongst the greatest in the GAA. I personally want to thank you for everything all through the years. I will cherish those cheers and your support for all time.
"I so look forward to supporting Waterford GAA for many years ahead and wish the current players and management the very best for the future.
"Finally to my family I sincerely thank you for your understanding, loyalty and support. I will be forever grateful for all you have done."