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Dublin: 15 °C Tuesday 20 August, 2019

Tributes from football legends, teammates and Green Army flood in for retiring Given

Sean St Ledger was gutted to hear of the Donegal man’s retirement and called him ‘an unbelievable goalkeeper’.

Sean St Ledger was one of the first players to tweet a tribute to Shay Given.
Sean St Ledger was one of the first players to tweet a tribute to Shay Given.
Image: ©INPHO/Donall Farmer

THE NEWS OF Shay Given’s international footballing retirement is less than 24 hours old but a deluge of positive comments and heroic anecdotes have showered social media and the airwaves.

Millwall goalkeeper David Forde, a former Irish teammate, spoke to RTÉ about the departure of the 125-times capped Given.

“It has been an honour and a privilege to work with Shay,” he said, “because I’ve learned such a lot from him in such a short space of time.” Forde added:

When I was younger, and he’s not that much older than myself, he was an idol of mine. I always looked up to him. He’s had a fantastic career.

“He’s been a top, top goalkeeper for many years and he probably still will be. He’s got a lot more to offer.”

Former Liverpool and Ireland midfielder Ray Houghton told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, “He has had a fantastic career, obviously, domestically and with Ireland too.

“125 caps tell you what Shay is all about. He was very dedicated to playing for his country.”

Parting is such tweet sorrow

Given’s former Irish teammates, Sean St Ledger, Simon Cox and James McClean all took to Twitter to express their appreciation for the 36-year-old goalkeeper.

Simon Cox tweeted a picture of the back seat of the Ireland team bus with a sign saying ‘Shay Given – R.I.P (Retire in Peace)’ on an empty seat.

St Ledger and McClean were less creative but equally effusive with their tributes.

(Credit: @seanstledger12)

(Credit: JMcC_23)

Shane Duffy of Everton, who has trained with the Irish senior squad, and Stephane Sessegnon are amongst the Premier League players to rave about Given’s goalkeeping skills. posted the news of Given’s retirement on Monday evening and has been inundated with comments and ‘Likes’.

Here is just a small sample of the comments received on our Facebook page:

Given made his Ireland debut on 27 March 1996 against Russia. The Irish side lost 2-0 and Given was on the receiving end of a pile-driving opener.

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About the author:

Patrick McCarry

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