Saturday, 18th August 2018
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Farewell to a hero

John O’Shea exits on winning note

Waterfordman John O’Shea exited his international soccer career on a winning note when Ireland beat USA 2-1 in Saturday’s friendly. John captained the Irish squad and received a standing ovation in the Aviva Stadium. He walked onto the pitch carrying his daughter Ruby and his son Alfie walking alongside him to an emotional farewell. President Michael D. Higgins paid tribute to the Republic of Ireland international and said he had been a tremendous representative forIreland over the 22 years he had played for his country, 17 of whichwere at senior level. The President said: "Since winning the UEFA Under 16 European Championships in 1998, and his debut in the senior team in 2001, John O’Shea has been one of the most inspirational, committed and admired members of our national teams. Only a handful of players have been chosen to represent Ireland on more than 100 occasions, and with 117 caps John is in extremely good company on that list of greats. On behalf of all Irish football fans, I want to thank John for all hehas given to Irish football, and I wish him continuing success, not only in his footballing life, but also in his future endeavours. I wish both him and Yvonne, and their children Alfie and Ruby continued happiness and good health." Most of John’s playing career was with Manchester United under the managership of Alex Ferguson who also paid tribute to the Waterford footballer. Ireland’s manager Martin O’Neill also was fulsome in his praise of the soccer player and singled out his "calming" influence on and off the pitch. Speculation is rife that John will now concentrate on his Pro Licence which could see him remain on in the soccer world as either a coach or manager. There is also a very bright future for him in the media world as a pundit on soccer matters on radio and television.

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