Raff Cretaro bids farewell to Sligo Rovers
Raff Cretaro has brought the curtain down on his long playing career with Sligo Rovers.
The 37-year-old from Tubbercurry, made 531 appearances and scored 86 goals for his home county club since he made his debut for the Bit 'O Red in 2000.
Cretaro and Sligo released a joint statement this afternoon to confirm that he has played his final game for the club.
"My dream was to play for Sligo Rovers. I didn't know if it was going to last for one game, one start or one year. I just wanted to fulfil my dream. I wanted to dedicate myself to that for how ever long it lasted, I'm proud to say I did," he said.
"I have amazing memories that will stay with me for my entire life. It has been so much of my life since I made my debut in 2000. I'm thankful to Tommy Cassidy for giving me that chance."
"I was a local lad, I wanted to play for my local club and I wanted to be the best player I could.
"Each season went by and there wasn't too many times where I reflected in depth and dwelt on it. It was always looking forward, trying to learn, trying to fashion the chance to do something better each year here.
"As I speak about it today I could talk about all those wonderful days. The game against St Patrick's Athletic to win the league title and scoring two goals. Everything was perfect that day. The drama and the euphoria. It was a fairytale."
"The FAI Cups, the great teams, the unbelievably talented team-mates, inspirational managers, the dedicated people around the club and the passionate supporters who live and breathe Rovers and make it what it is.
"The feeling of knowing you were creating history for Sligo Rovers but more so what it would mean to all those people. I always just wanted to savour it and then do it all over again.
"Those moments are what you put boots on for. But you know too there were also not so great times. I never let those phase me.
"I saw it all and I just always realised there would be an opportunity, whether it was in one week or two weeks or how ever long, that you could go out and try to change it on the pitch and alter the club's fortunes."