FAI pays tribute to Kevin Doyle on enforced retirement

The Football Association of Ireland has paid tribute to Republic of Ireland international Kevin Doyle who announced his retirement from the game today after a 16-year career.

The Wexford man explained in a statement earlier today that his decision came on the back of concussion-related symptoms suffered this season with Colorado Rapids in MLS.

The 34-year-old had been named in the Ireland squad for the upcoming 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying Round games against Moldova and Wales, but he will now end his international career on 63 senior caps and 14 goals.

Ireland manager Martin O’Neill heaped praise on Doyle for his professional attitude on and off the pitch, saying: "I am disappointed to hear that Kevin has had to retire from football.

"Kevin was extremely popular with all of the players in the Irish camp and he was an excellent professional, who has served his clubs and country very well during his career."

FAI CEO John Delaney described Doyle as a "great servant" for the Ireland team and acknowledged his years of service to Irish football, which saw him line out for St Patrick’s Athletic and Cork City before moving to England and then the United States.

"I am very saddened to hear of Kevin’s decision to retire from football and I would like to pay tribute to one of the most hard-working and dedicated players to have represented the Republic of Ireland," said Delaney.

"Kevin is one of the great Irish goalscorers of all time, who gave everything for his country. You could see that he appreciated every minute that he had on the pitch in a green jersey.

"He made his mark in the League of Ireland and quickly transferred those talents to the international stage. Kevin was a great servant for his country and I wish him and his family the very best for the future.

"We would like to pay tribute to Kevin at the Aviva Stadium for his immense contribution to Irish football, at a time that is appropriate for him."

A former underage international, Doyle made his senior debut against Sweden in 2006 and had the honour of leading his country out as captain in the 1-0 friendly win over South Africa in Thomond Park in September 2009.

The former Reading, Wolverhampton Wanderers, QPR and Crystal Palace frontman was part of the squad that won the Carling Nations Cup in 2011 and featured in two games at UEFA EURO 2012.

Doyle’s final appearance in a green jersey was the narrow defeat to Iceland last March in Aviva Stadium. He is joint 21st in the all-time appearance charts and joint sixth in the all-time goalscoring charts.

Kevin Doyle’s International career in numbers:

* Caps: 63

* Goals: 14

* Starts: 54

* Substitution Appearances: 9

* Minutes Played: 4,154

* Debut: v Sweden, Lansdowne Road, March 1, 2006

* First Goal: v San Marino, Lansdowne Road, November 15, 2006

* Awards: Senior International Player (2008, 2010), Young International Player (2006), Under 21 International Player (2005), International Goal of the Year (2007, 2010, 2012)

KEYWORDS: Kevin Doyle


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