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Dublin: 12 °C Friday 15 February, 2019

Kevin Kilbane announces retirement from football at 35

The 110-cap former Ireland international enjoyed a career that took in spells with West Brom, Sunderland and Everton.

Image: Chris Radburn/PA Archive/Press Association Images

FORMER REPUBLIC OF Ireland international Kevin Kilbane has retired from football at the age of 35.

The midfielder-turned-defender finished his career with League One Coventry City, choosing to retire despite being named as club captain by manager Andy Thorn.

He said: “I know it’s the right decision for me, and my family, and, if there is one consolation, I’m pleased it has been in my hands. A lot of good friends haven’t had the privilege because injury has ended their careers.”

Kilbane made 110 appearances for Ireland and is behind only Shay Given and Robbie Keane in terms of appearances for his country.

He made 66 consecutive competitive appearances for the Boys in Green, with his run cut short by a serious back injury two years ago.

His club career, which began as an 18-year-old with Preston North End, took in nine clubs, including West Brom, Sunderland and Everton.

“When I think back to the sacrifices I have made over the years, particularly representing my country, I don’t regret them.

“Most importantly, after too many nights, weeks and months away from them, I want to be near my family. It’s time to put me and the family first now.

“I would like to thank the directors, coaching staff, players and supporters at Coventry City Football Club for my brief time at the Club and wish them all the best for the future.”

Kilbane is now expected to enter coaching, having completed his UEFA A and B licences, while he is writing his autobiography in aid of the Downs Syndrome Association, of which he is patron.

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