Injury forces Keith Fahey into early retirement

Former Irish international has struggled with a hip and knee complaint with Shamrock Rovers

Former Irish international Keith Fahey has been forced to retire at 32-years-of-age. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Former Irish international Keith Fahey has been forced to retire at 32-years-of-age. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

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Former Republic of Ireland international Keith Fahey has been forced to retire from football due to persistent hip and injury problems that have sidelined him since the cup game between Shamrock Rovers and his former club St Patrick’s Athletic earlier in the summer.

Fahey, who earned 16 caps, made more than 50 top flight appearances for Birmingham City over a four year spell at the club where he was a popular figure amongst the fans. He also helped Birmingham to a League Cup success over Arsenal and, amongst his other successes, the Dubliner won the Setanta and FAI Cups with Drogheda United and St Patrick’s respectively.

He has particularly close ties with the latter and had three different spells at Richmond Park. The relationship soured somewhat after he left last year for Rovers and then made unfavourable comparisons between the two set-ups in the press. During the cup game, which was to be the last appearance of his career, he failed to make much of an impact, with his fitness clearly a factor, and was jeered by many supporters of his former club as he was substituted.

Second Captains

Still, they will have fond memories of a player who was regarded as a stylish, technically gifted, passing midfielder who many felt might have earned more international caps.

As it was, the highlight of his Ireland career was almost certainly the winning goal in he scored Armenia in September 2010 which played a significant part in getting Giovanni Trapattoni’s team to the European Championships in 2012.

“Unfortunately I have had to come to this decision after taking advice from the doctor and surgeon,” said Fahey in an interview with the Rovers website which broke the news.

“I feel that it is the right time to finish playing professional football. I’d like to thank everyone that has supported me, managed me and played with me during my time playing football.”

Rovers manager Pat Fenlon says the 32-year-old “will be a big loss to Shamrock Rovers and the League of Ireland in general. He has been a central part of our squad this season and has been a great influence on the players, particularly the younger members of our squad.”

The club, which had hoped to have Fahey, Stephen McPhail and Damien Duff playing together over the coming months, has made it clear that there will be opportunities for him to return in a coaching capacity if he decides he wants to during the next few years.

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