Kilkenny hurling star Richie Power has confirmed that he has been forced to retire due to injury.
The eight-time All-Ireland winner said it has been a wonderful journey and while he wouldn't choose for it to end like it has, he will forever cherish the memories of his time wearing the Black & Amber.
Power has wished continued success to all who play for Kilkenny in the years ahead.
The Carrickshock clubman has undergone six operations on his knee, the latest before Christmas.
Power said: "Following the most recent surgery to my knee I must sadly today announce my retirement from inter county hurling."
"Disappointing though this decision is, I realise and appreciate the opportunity that I had to play alongside some of the greatest players ever to play the game of hurling and to be part of one of the greatest teams of all time all time managed by the greatest manager of all time, Brian Cody.
"I know also how fortunate I am to be able to look back on so many career highlights"
"I know also how fortunate I am to be able to look back on so many career highlights including the winning of 2 Colleges, 2 Minor, 2 u21 and 8 senior All Ireland medals as well as being chosen on the All Stars teams in 2010 and 2011.
"I am deeply grateful to all who helped me during my inter county career, especially Brian, Michael Dempsey our fitness coach, Dr Tadgh Crowley and all the support team in Nowlan Park."
Blighted by injuries in recent campaigns, which also curtailed his involvement in training, Power made just a single appearance for Kilkenny in 2015, when appearing as a substitute in the All-Ireland Final.
His statement continued: "I extend a very special thank you to my Mum Ann and Dad Richie Snr for their support and encouragement at all times.
"It was very special for me to emulate Dad as a minor, u21 and senior All-Ireland medal winner.
"I want to acknowledge and thank the teachers who coached me in Stoneyford National School and in Saint Kieran's College and all who helped me in my club Carrickshock."
Following a string of retirements at the end of the 2014 campaign, many believed the Cats would struggle in 2015, but they claimed back-to-back All-Ireland titles.
Power was viewed in many quarters as Henry Shefflin’s natural successor, and the bid for three-in-a-row this year will be tough without the Carrickshock ace.
Power concluded his statement: "Finally I want to say a special word of thanks to Kilkenny Co Board, Kilkenny Supporters club and to all Kilkenny supporters who have been so good to me throughout my career.
"It has been a truly wonderful journey and while I wouldn't choose for it to end like this I will forever cherish the memories of my time wearing the Black & Amber and I wish continued success to all who play for Kilkenny in the year and the years ahead."
To add to his eight All-Ireland SHC medals, Power has been a part of seven Leinster winning title sides; earned three league successes and picked up two All-Stars in 2010 and 2011.
He scored 14 goals and 81 points in 42 Championship appearances with the Cats.
Additional reporting by Cóilín Duffy