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Dublin: 4°C Wednesday 21 April 2021

'Football, thank you for everything': Former Ireland midfielder Stephen McPhail announces retirement

The 36-year-old has decided to hang up his boots.

The midfielder won 10 caps for the national team.
The midfielder won 10 caps for the national team.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

SHAMROCK ROVERS MIDFIELDER Stephen McPhail has announced his retirement from football.

The Home Farm youth product started his professional career in England with Leeds United, and was involved in their memorable Champions League run to the semi-finals in 2001, but a series of injuries hindered his progress at the club.

The 36-year-old, who won 10 caps with the national team, then enjoyed spells with several Football League clubs including Cardiff City, where he captained the Welsh side to a FA Cup final defeat to Portsmouth in 2008.

In 2009, the former Irish international was diagnosed with cancer of the lymphoma, but bounced back to continue his career and returned to Ireland with Rovers in 2014.

After today’s announcement, Shamrock Rovers described McPhail as “one of this country’s most skilful players, a leader and a gentleman on and off the pitch.”

McPhail, who also works as a coach with the Hoops, paid tribute to the people who helped him throughout his career.

“Today I announce my retirement from professional football. I have always dreaded this day coming.

“The opportunity to play in over 500 competitive games and represent my country has been a dream come true. I am very grateful to have spent over 20 years in football.

“I owe so much to the best game in the world. I have had unbelievable experiences and hold many great memories. It has really moulded me into the person that I am today.

“From my Grandad Paddy bringing me to play for Rush Athletic at 5 years of age to now, I need to thank so many people for helping me along the way. I have been lucky to work with brilliant people at great football clubs.

“Most of all I am thankful to my family, my friends, my amazing wife Michelle and my kids Kari and Joel for all their support. I will be forever grateful.

“I would also like to thank Home Farm for everything they did for me and Shamrock Rovers for giving me the opportunity to enjoy the last part of my career at home in Dublin. It means a lot.

“I hope to stay in the game in the future and give something back that was given to me. It is all I know and love.

“Football, thank you for everything”.

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