The 2012 All-Ireland winning captain enjoyed a glittering career during his 12 years on the Kilkenny hurling panel
Eight time All-Ireland winner Eoin Larkin has announced his retirement from inter-county hurling and says he is "content to walk away now knowing I gave everything I could".
Larkin, who won four consecutive All Irelands between 2006 and 2009, before another four in 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, thanked his family for the sacrifices they made with him in order to 'live his dream'.
"After due consideration I have decided that now is the right time for me to announce my Inter-county retirement. I morning in a statement released by Kilkenny GAA.
"It was always my dream from a young age to play, captain and win an All-Ireland with Kilkenny and I’m proud and happy to say I lived my dream. I am content to walk away now knowing I gave everything I could for myself but also the team every time I walked out on the training pitch or pulled on a Kilkenny jersey and left no stone unturned in the pursuit of perfection, although I never got close. I’ve played with and against some of the best players of all time and had the privilege of working with the best manager of all time for those years.
"Doing what I loved doing for twelve years didn’t seem like a sacrifice but although they never said anything I know for a fact my family sacrificed a massive amount for me to fulfil my dream.
"I will never be able to thank my mother enough for the unwavering support in every way possible and my father for his support and the opportunity he gave me from a young age to do what I loved. He brought me to trainings and matches and never hesitated when I asked "could we go for a few pucks". It was this that allowed me to practice and become the hurler I am today.
"I can never thank my wife Anne enough for the last twelve years of support, advice and often a little pick me up when things weren’t going so well. I also want to thank my children Mark, Holly and Ellie for their support and understanding for what I loved doing. It is certainly payback time now.
Eoin Larkin lifts the Liam McCarthy in 2015 after beating Galway by four points. Image: ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy
"My sister, two brothers, Paddy, Veronica, extended family and friends always showed me support and were always there to bring me down a peg or two if needed.
"I would also like to thank The Defence Forces for their understanding and support throughout my career. David Young of Opel, Denis Lahart of Volkswagen and most recently Cathal o Neill of Honda and also Sheridan Insurances have shown me endless generosity throughout the last twelve years. I also want to thank Kilkenny County Board and Supporters Club for all their work while I have been involved.
"I want to thank Brian for the opportunity of playing for Kilkenny and will be forever grateful. I also want to thank all the selectors, backroom staff and medical teams that I’ve worked with. It was often a tough task to keep me fit but they were always more than up for the challenge.
"I will continue to play for my beloved James Stephens for as long as I can and will go in search of further dreams.
"Lastly I want to wish Brian and the rest of the lads the very best in 2017.I will certainly be roaring on the black and amber."
In his time under Brian Cody, Larkin won 10 Leinster senior hurling medals, six national hurling leagues and three Walsh Cups. He captained his team to All-Ireland success in 2012.