Fitzpatrick ends his Kilkenny career

James 'Cha' Fitzpatrick

Kilkenny's James 'Cha' Fitzpatrick has sensationally retired from senior inter-county hurling, explaining that he felt he 'wasn't rewarded' for his efforts during their 2011 All-Ireland winning campaign.

Fitzpatrick intends to continue playing for his club Ballyhale Shamrocks but is set to go travelling next year and took the decision to call time on his career with the Cats.

Injury and illness curtailed his time on the pitch in recent seasons and he struggled for game-time this past summer, playing for just 18 minutes in Kilkenny's Leinster final win over Dublin.

The talented midfielder, who is just 26, leaves the top level of the game with five All-Ireland SHC medals, three All-Star awards, a Young Hurler of the Year award and as a multi-Leinster and National League winner.

In an interview with RTÉ Sport today, he said: "2011 was a fantastic year for Kilkenny, but personally I wasn't rewarded for my efforts.

"It's been a wonderful eight years to be involved with Kilkenny hurling and I achieved every hurling goal and more.

"I'll continue to enjoy my club hurling with Ballyhale Shamrocks and I will take this opportunity to achieve new goals that I set out for myself."

Fitzpatrick captained Brian Cody's men to All-Ireland glory in 2008. He is the fourth Kilkenny player to retire in the past year - James Ryall, Derek Lyng and Martin Comerford have also bowed out.

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