Former Mayo GAA All-Star hangs up his intercounty boots
Former PwC football All-Star and Mayo GAA defender Brendan Harrison has informed Mayo GAA and the county’s senior football management team that he is retiring from intercounty football. The Aghamore club man played 67 times for the Mayo senior football team in a career that spanned ten years.
Brendan joined the Mayo senior football panel in 2013 and made his NFL debut against Kildare in February 2014. He played for the Mayo senior football team 35 times in the Allianz National Football League and 32 times in the GAA championship. He contributed 0-5 points from play for Mayo during his playing career.
A stylish and teak-tough defender, Brendan played with the Mayo minor team in 2010 and represented Mayo at U21 level in 2012 and 2013. He played in All-Ireland senior finals in 2016 and 2017 and in the Allianz National Football League final in 2019, in which Mayo defeated Kerry.
He was a member of five Connacht winning football panels with Mayo – 2013, 2014, 2015, 2020 and 2021. Brendan won his PwC All-Star in 2016 at right corner back and was also nominated for an All-Star in 2017. He made two appearances for Ireland against Australia in the International Rules Series in 2017.
Brendan’s last game for Mayo was also against Kildare in the Allianz National Football League in Carrick-on-Shannon in 2022.
Mayo GAA Cathaoirleach Seamus Tuohy thanked Brendan for his unwavering commitment and dedication to Mayo GAA. “Brendan wore his heart on his sleeve, he was brave, committed and always gave 100%. Brendan was one of those players supporters loved. He was exciting to watch, and he lit up Hastings Insurance MacHale Park and Croke Park on so many occasions. Everyone associated with Mayo GAA would like to wish Brendan well in his retirement,” said Seamus.
Injury curtailed Brendan’s involvement with the Mayo senior football team in recent years, making only six league and one championship appearance since 2020.
Statement from Brendan Harrison:
Playing for Mayo was something I always treasured. From the very first day I pulled on the jersey at underage level, I was conscious of the honour it was to wear the green and red. I played alongside brilliant players and under outstanding management teams and I thank each and every one of them for everything they did.
I had my problems with injuries over the past five seasons and while that was frustrating, I look back on my time with Mayo with very happy memories. Injuries mean that I cannot continue to train at the required level. I thank my club Aghamore and my local community of Kilkelly for their support at all stages and my wife Natasha and my entire family who made many
sacrifices so that I could play for Mayo. I look forward to being around for the many milestones ahead for our three young children.
I wish Mayo every success in 2024 and beyond and know that the players involved now will continue to represent the county with pride.
Statement from Mayo Manager Kevin McStay:
Brendan Harrison walks away from intercounty football with his head held high. Mayo people will never forget his performances during the 2016-2019 seasons, in particular, including masterful displays in the 2016 and 2017 All-Ireland finals.
He was always a beautifully balanced footballer who combined real attacking flair with a penchant for the tighter confines of man marking.
Injuries played havoc with his career, alas. We had hoped he would come back in 2024. At 31, he is young enough to continue playing on. Unfortunately, his injuries mean he has to call it a day. It was a pleasure to work with him during 2023 and he was a highly regarded and deeply popular figure in the Mayo panel.