O'Shea Retires...

John O’Shea has announced that he’s hanging up his international boots. The 37 year old, who recently clinched the player of the year award for SAFC, notched 117 caps for Ireland but believes it’s now time to throw in the towel. He said: "I have certainly cherished my international career, it will be emotional walking out for the final time in front of the Ireland supporters. But it is now time to say thank you and allow others to lead the team forward, it’s been an amazing honour to wear our green shirt.”

Ireland manager, and former SAFC boss Martin O’Neill has praised O’Shea and lauded his goalscoring prowess: “John has had a great career internationally and played at the very top at club level with Manchester United, where he won a lot of trophies. For any player to get over 100 caps is a magnificent feat and he can be very proud of that achievement. I will always remember John’s goal away to Germany in Gelsenkirchen. He doesn’t score too many goals so that made it even more special. I wish John the very best for the future and I’m sure he will become an excellent coach. And if he wants to I’m sure he has the capabilities of becoming a manager too.”

FAI CEO John Delaney then chipped in, describing O’Shea as a natural leader. He explained: “We have been very fortunate to have had some truly outstanding servants pull on the Republic of Ireland jersey and John O’Shea is most definitely one of those. When you watched him play it was clear to see how much it meant to him to be representing his country and that kind of commitment inspired players and supporters across many generations. A proud Waterford man, who was given a great introduction to football by Ferrybank and Waterford Bohemians, John always gave everything for Ireland and that is evidenced by the fact that he played international football for 17 consecutive years. That is a remarkable achievement and explains why he has always been a firm favourite amongst the Ireland supporters. John is one of the most decorated Irish players of the modern era due to his tremendous success with Manchester United, but he will be known more for his leadership – on and off the pitch. Whether it was with Sunderland or Ireland, John led by example and others followed. Just like his father, Jim, who was a gentleman, John has and always will be a passionate supporter of Irish football. We will pay tribute to John at the United States game on June 2. I hope the Ireland supporters will turn out in force to give a deserved send-off to one of the most committed players ever to pull on the green jersey.”

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Don’t worry we will reach those lofty heights again but until then we can take comfort in the fact that we’re all... still here when we are shit! Hardcore fans and Sunderland till we die, whichever league we are in and whoever owns the club. Players, manager and chairman come and go. Fans remain. We are the club… click here to view product