John Caulfield pays tribute to Brian Lenihan on retirement

Cork City boss made 23-year-old a regular starter before his move to Hull in 2014

Brian Lenihan training with Ireland in 2014. Photograph: Steve Langan/Inpho

Brian Lenihan training with Ireland in 2014. Photograph: Steve Langan/Inpho

 

Cork City boss John Caulfield has expressed his sadness over the news that the club’s former defender, Brian Lenihan, has been forced to retire from the game due to a persistent knee injury, aged just 23.

Lenihan left City for Hull in August 2014 after a strong start to the season with the first team and things seemed to progress well enough for him initially with a loan move to Blackpool a couple of months later coinciding with a call up to train with the senior international squad.

His time at Blackpool was cut short, though, after he suffered an injury in his second game for the club and he played just two games subsequently for Hull, one in the Championship towards the end of the 2015/16 season and one last August in the League Cup, with most of his time at the club spent battling to get back to fitness.

He publicly admitted defeat on Wednesday morning when he issued a statement via Twitter announcing his retirement from the game.

“It is with deep regret that I have had to retire from Professional Football,” he said.

“Having to retire at 23 is something I did not foresee, but such is life! This decision does not come lightly but due to the medical advice I have received it is an action that needs to be taken for my own wellbeing. Sometimes in life you need to give up on a life-long dream to ensure you live a happy and more fulfilling life!”

Brian Lenihan in action for Hull City in April 2016. Photograph: Dave Thompson/Getty Images
Brian Lenihan in action for Hull City in April 2016. Photograph: Dave Thompson/Getty Images

He goes on to thank the medical staff at Hull City, the managers he worked under there and a number of other staff by name in heartfelt terms before signing off: “Much love Brian Lenihan.”

“I’m really sorry to hear that he has had to stop playing,” said Caulfield who made him a regular starter in his Cork side four seasons ago. “He would be a lovely guy.”

“When he signed for Hull everyone could see the promise he had; he had fantastic pace, was very comfortable with the ball at his feet and was a very good crosser of the ball. Steve Bruce was delighted with him when he got him over.

“Unfortunately he had a lot of problems after that and I remember being a little surprised when his original contract was up and I heard they had given him another year because he had played so few games for the first but when I thought about it, I knew it must be down to the fact that they could see his enormous potential.”

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