Two-time All-Ireland winning Tipperary captain retires from inter-county football

TIPPERARY’S TWO-TIME ALL-IRELAND winning captain Samantha Lambert has retired from inter-county football.

The Ardfinnan defender bows out with three All-Ireland intermediate medals to her name — two of those coming as captain in 2017 and 2019, having climbed the steps of the Hogan Stand to lift the Mary Quinn Memorial Cup, and the other coming at the tender age of 16 in 2008.

From her role as a substitute that year — her debut season of 13 — Lambert soon flourished into one of the side’s key players and was ever-present at centre-half back.

A real leader on and off the pitch who has done so much for Tipperary ladies football, Lambert has been a key figure through the county’s meteoric rise over the last few years.

She’s been instrumental through the climb to the senior ranks and league journey from Division 3 to Division 1, helping deliver four national titles in the last four years under the watchful eye of Shane Ronayne. 

Lifting the trophy in 2019.

Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

But like Ronayne, Lambert won’t be involved in the next chapter as All-Ireland winning hurling captain Declan Carr takes the reins.

In an interview with Tipperary Live, she delved deeper into the journey as a whole, touching on memories from through the years, making the retirement decision with her Dad and what’s next.

“It has been an absolute privilege not only to play for Tipperary but to also captain the team for the past four years,” she said. “It was always my dream to play football for Tipperary and sometimes dreams do come true.

“It’s been a journey that has been filled with both joy and heartache, but from that I’ve learned some key values in life – resilience, passion, determination and humility.”

On the ball in the 2019 final.

Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

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A secondary school teacher at Comeragh College, Carrick-on-Suir, Lambert will continue lining out for her beloved Ardfinnan. “I owe it to give a fair bit back to the club, who have been so good to me, and give them the commitment I couldn’t give before,” she added.

Tipperary ladies football county board chairman Lar Roche led the tributes last night, with many others adding kind words for the retiring player.

“‘Samantha has been a fantastic captain, player and role model for Tipperary and I hope that she won’t go too far away from Tipperary Ladies Football,” he said.

Ladies Football

It’s been confirmed this evening that Tipperary’s 2017 and 2019 TG4 All-Ireland winning captain Samantha Lambert (@SamLambert91) has retired from inter-county football.

👏 Congratulations to Samantha on a stellar career in blue and gold and best wishes for the future 🇺🇦

— Ladies Football (@LadiesFootball) January 21, 2021

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A fond tribute to Samantha Lambert on her retirement!

Not too many in the game so well regarded among her peers, she was an amazing leader of the @TippLadiesFB team & a fantastic WGPA rep.

Thanks & best wishes for all the new adventures @SamLambert91, you’ll be missed! #laoch

— WGPA (@WomensGPA) January 21, 2021

Tipperary GAA

Best wishes to @TippLadiesFB star @SamLambert91 on her retirement from inter county football. Samantha was a true leader and an inspirational role model for so many people, both young and not so young.

— Tipperary GAA (@TipperaryGAA) January 21, 2021

Aisling McCarthy

Thank you @SamLambert91 for being an inspirational leader. Great to share such fond memories on & off the pitch. 3 all Ireland’s with @TippLadiesFB – 2 as captain climbing the steps of the hogan, not a bad track record 🙌🏻 Enjoy retirement👏🏻, you’ll be missed😢

— Aisling McCarthy (@aish_mac) January 22, 2021

Maria Curley

It’s a sad day for @TippLadiesFB What a career for @SamLambert91 an inspirational team mate and an even better friend ❤️ We will forever try to fill your boots! 💙💛

— Maria Curley (@mariacurley4) January 21, 2021

Laura Dillon

Incredible leader! No words to describe how hardworking and dedicated @SamLambert91 was to @TippLadiesFB 💙💛 The memories will last a lifetime ❤

— Laura Dillon (@laura_dillon1) January 21, 2021

Ardfinnan GAA

Enjoy your retirement @SamLambert91. Some woman 💪💪

— ArdfinnanGAA (@ArdfinnanGAA) January 21, 2021

Ciara O’Sullivan

Had the privilege of playing with and the misfortune of playing against @SamLambert91! Much preferred the former! Enjoy retirement Sammy! 🙌🏼

— Ciara (@ciaraosull90) January 21, 2021

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