Shay Given calls time on international career

Shay Given international career
26 June 2016; Shay Given of the Republic of Ireland. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Donegal keeper’s career saw him earn 134 caps

Republic of Ireland goalkeeper Shay Given last week announced his retirement from international football aged 40.

The Stoke City goalkeeper’s career spanned over 20 years, in which he made 134 appearances. Following his contribution to the Euro 2016 squad the former Newcastle, Celtic, Blackburn Rovers and Aston Villa keeper took to social media to announce his decision.

“It’s every boy’s dream to play football for his school, his local club, and maybe in his wildest dreams, his country.

“To try and be as good at football as his father was before him and make his mother proud.

“I’ve been blessed that I was able to do all this, from kickabouts in the back yard at home to playing for St Columbas college Stranorlar, Lifford Celtic and then to making my debut with the Republic of Ireland age 19.

“I’m one of the lucky ones who got to wear the jersey for his country and wore the badge with pride 134 times,” he wrote. “But now it’s time to hang up the gloves and move from the onion bag to the terraces, where I’ll be shouting the lads on as one of Ireland’s biggest fans.

“So as I retire from Ireland to focus on my club career, I want to say a huge thanks to everyone who supported me all the way; my close family, friends and the amazing fans.

“I couldn’t have done it without you. And all my team mates, managers and friends at the FAI. Go raibh maith agat.”

Given was given his international debut by Mick McCarthy in 1996 and was first choice between the posts at both the 2002 World Cup and 2012 European Championships. He is expected to continue his Stoke City career, but it is the second time that he has announced his international retirement.

He previously did so after Euro 2012 but returned to help the Republic qualify for this summer’s European Championship finals in France, where he was part of the squad but did not play.

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