Chris Radburn Given waves to fans after Ireland's elimination from Euro 2016.
Hanging up the gloves
Shay Given retires from international football for the second time
The 40-year-old has called time on an illustrious Ireland career.

IRELAND GOALKEEPER SHAY Given has confirmed his retirement from international football.

The 40-year-old, capped 134 times for the Boys in Green and the country’s longest-serving player, announced the news that he is stepping aside via a letter to fans posted on Twitter this evening.

Stoke City stopper Given was part of Martin O’Neill’s Euro 2016 squad as back-up to number one Darren Randolph and the retirement was expected after his emotional goodbye to fans at full-time in the second round loss to France in Lyon.

It is the second time Given, who is seen by many as Ireland’s greatest ever goalkeeper, has brought an end to his career in a green shirt.

After Euro 2012, he hung up the international gloves but made a comeback two years later under O’Neill.

During a friendly with Belarus in May, Given broke John Giles’ record of 19 years and 202 days to become the player who has served Ireland for the longest period of time.

Robbie Keane and Shay Given Donall Farmer / INPHO Given with captain Robbie Keane in Lyon. Donall Farmer / INPHO / INPHO

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

“To try 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 this, from kickabouts in the back yard at home in Co Donegal with my brothers, to playing for St Colomba’s Collage Stranorlar, Lifford Celtic and then to making my debut with the Republic of Ireland aged 18.

I’m one of the very lucky ones who got to wear the jersey for his country and wore the badge with pride 134 times. 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 the Ireland’s biggest fans.

“So as I retire from Ireland duty 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 amazing fans.

“Couldn’t have done it without you, and all my great team-mates, managers and friends at the FAI.

“Go raibh maith agat.”

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