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Wednesday 13 December 2017

Doyle, 34, is forced to hang up his boots

Kevin Doyle played for the Republic of Ireland 62 times during his career. Photo: David Maher/Sportsfile
Kevin Doyle played for the Republic of Ireland 62 times during his career. Photo: David Maher/Sportsfile

Playing for his country allowed Kevin Doyle fulfil his boyhood dream but now, at the age of 34, the Wexford-born striker has been forced to retire from playing on medical advice.

Doyle had a proud career which saw him win a league title with Cork City, score 14 times in 62 appearances for Ireland, and play in six campaigns in the English Premier League.

He has been in the USA, with Colorado Rapids, since 2015 but after a series of concussions, he has been advised to stop playing.

"Today, I'm sad to announce that after listening to medical advice I will play no further part this season and will be retiring," he said in a statement.

Clear

"This year, it has been clear to me that heading the ball was becoming problematic and causing me to have repeated headaches.

"Two concussions this season and numerous others over the years have made this more concerning. After consulting the experts in this field, it has been decided that to avoid the possibility of these symptoms becoming more serious and permanent, I will be hanging my boots up for good," added Doyle, who is now likely to return to his native Wexford.

Doyle was not an overnight success when he moved up to Dublin from Wexford, making his St Patrick's Athletic debut in 2001, but his 2003 move to Cork City under former boss Pat Dolan saw his career take off.

Midway through Cork City's title-winning season of 2005 he moved to Reading, a snip at £80,000 as the Royals went on to sell him to Wolves for £7m.

Doyle progressed well at international level: he made his U21 debut in 2004 and with six goals from his 11 U21 caps, he is second in the all-time scorers chart at U21 level.

Brian Kerr handed Doyle his first senior call-up, for a World Cup qualifier away to Cyprus in October 2005 but it was Steve Staunton who gave the then Reading player his senior debut in March 2006.

Doyle went on to win 62 senior caps, mainly under Giovanni Trapattoni. He played in the first two games of Martin O'Neill's reign but he was not in favour for much of O'Neill's time as Ireland boss.

Doyle was left out of the squad for Euro 2016 and many feel he was harshly treated by O'Neill of late, as a loyal Doyle repeatedly made the 14,000km round trip from Denver to Dublin to join the Irish squad without being picked.

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