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O'Neill and Hoolahan share a hug.
O'Neill and Hoolahan share a hug.
Image: Gary Carr/INPHO

'One of the most technically-gifted players ever to pull on the Ireland jersey' - Tributes pour in for Wes

Paul McGrath, Martin O’Neill and a number of Hoolahan’s former team-mates have reacted to the news.
Feb 8th 2018, 4:13 PM 7,256 5

WES HOOLAHAN has been hailed for his contribution to Irish football after today’s announcement that he is retiring from international level.

Senior manager Martin O’Neill, FAI chief executive John Delaney, legendary ex-player Paul McGrath and a former club of Hoolahan’s, Shelbourne, have all taken time to pay tribute to the 35-year-old, who won 43 caps over a 10-year period.

“Wes phoned me last week to let me know about retiring from international football,” said O’Neill. ”I remember, with great fondness, his outstanding performance and wonderful goal, against Sweden in Paris during the Euros.

“His desire to play for his country was immeasurable and he was a delight to work with over the past four years.

“Naturally, I wish Wes the very best of luck with his career at club level.”

Delaney added: “There is no doubt in my mind that Wes Hoolahan will be remembered as one of the most technically-gifted players ever to pull on the Ireland jersey.

I think a lot of credit should go to both Belvedere and Shelbourne, who helped to develop a talented kid into a skilled professional who would go on to score that superb goal against Sweden in the Stade de France at Euro 2016.

“Wes made his name in the League of Ireland with a fantastic Shelbourne side and he was always proud of that. I think he is the perfect role model for young players aspiring to reach the top because he worked hard for everything that he got and embraced his time representing his country.

“We would like to pay tribute to Wes at the Aviva Stadium for his contribution to Irish football, at a time that suits him. Wes and his family are welcome to the Aviva Stadium at any time.”

Others took to social media to comment on the news:

Alan Cawley 1 Source: Twitter/Alan Cawley

Alan Cawley 2 Source: Twitter/Alan Cawley

Alan Cawley 3 Source: Twitter/Alan Cawley

Alan Cawley 4 Source: Twitter/Alan Cawley

Alan Cawley 5 Source: Twitter/Alan Cawley

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