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Thursday 13 December 2018

Hip injury forces Supple to retire

Bohemians goalkeeper has regretfully retired from the game
Bohemians goalkeeper has regretfully retired from the game

Shane Supple says he has decided to retire from football at the age of 31 because a hip injury would have prevented him from doing himself justice.

The Dubliner joined Bohemians in 2016, after a spell out of the senior game, and he was under contract for next season with the Gypsies.

Supple had an impressive season in 2018 and was named on the team of the year by his fellow players in the PFAI, but he has now made the shock decision to quit playing.

"As of today, I will be hanging up my gloves and stepping away from the game," he said in a statement on the club's website.

"This is a decision I haven't taken lightly but due to a persistent hip issue and, after consultations with medical professionals, as well as those closest to me, I feel I can no longer play to the level needed and, more importantly, that I expect of myself.

"I need to listen to my body and can no longer put it through the high level of physical demand required at this level of competition as a goalkeeper in the League of Ireland.

"I had envisaged playing long into my 30s and had intended doing that with Bohs - a club that has been so good to me and has given me the most enjoyable years of my playing career."

Supple emerged at a talented Home Farm schoolboy side and moved to Ipswich Town, making his debut in 2005.

He made 34 first team appearances for the Tractor Boys but then shocked the football world in 2009 when he told manager Roy Keane that he wanted to quit the game and return to Ireland.

Supple initially focused on his GAA career, winning an all-Ireland club title with St Brigid's and he also made the Dublin senior panel.

Having tested the waters with Crumlin United, he returned to senior soccer in 2016 with Bohs and established himself as one of the top keepers in the league.

That form led to an Ireland call-up from Martin O'Neill last summer, but Supple was an unused sub in three games. After making comments critical of the Ireland set-up he was not selected again.

"I will miss Friday nights in Dalymount the most, the atmosphere created by the best fans in the world with the flares, banners and Johnny Logan's Hold Me Now. Nothing will replace that," Supple added.

"As a team we always knew you had our backs no matter the result and that's something not many players can say about their own fans."

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