Shay Given brings an end to 20-year Republic of Ireland career
Published 28/07/2016 | 20:36
Republic of Ireland goalkeeper Shay Given has retired from international football.
The 40-year-old, who was part of Ireland's Euro 2016 squad but did not play, steps down after winning 134 caps in order to concentrate on playing for Stoke.
Given, who had previously called time on his international career after Euro 2012 before a rethink, represented Ireland at three major tournaments and was the team's number one at the 2002 World Cup.
In a letter posted on his Twitter account, he wrote: " It's every boy's dream to play football for his school, his local club, and maybe, in his wildest dreams, his country.
"To try be as good at football as his father was before him and make his mother proud.
"I've been blessed that I was able to do this, from kickabouts in the back yard at home in Co Donegal with my brothers, to playing for St Colomba's Collage Stranorlar, Lifford Celtic and then to making my debut with the Republic of Ireland aged 18.
"I'm one of the very lucky ones who got to wear the jersey for his country and wore the badge with pride 134 times. But now it's time to hang up the gloves and move from the onion bag to the terraces, where I'll be shouting the lads on as one of Ireland's biggest fans.
"So as I retire from Ireland duty to focus on my club career, I want to say a HUGE thanks to everyone who supported me all the way - my close family, friends and amazing fans.
"Couldn't have done it without you, and all my great team-mates, managers and friends at the FAI."
Robbie Keane has made 145 appearances since 1998, to be the Republic's most-capped player.
But in terms of timespan Given leaves the set-up as the country's longest-serving player having his made his debut in 1996 as a 20-year-old against Russia. His last appearance was in the 2-1 friendly defeat against Belarus in May.
The FAI tweeted: "11,121 minutes played. 134 caps. 52 clean sheets. 3 major tournaments. 1 Shay Given #legend."