Monday 21 January 2019

Martin O'Neill reacts to Daryl Murphy's decision to end his Ireland career as FAI plan tribute

Daryl Murphy has retired from international football
Daryl Murphy has retired from international football
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill has offered up a warm tribute to striker Daryl Murphy after he confirmed he was calling time on his international career.

O'Neill brought Murphy back into the international fold during his reign as manager and suggests the striker was a model pro during in his squad.

"Daryl did really well in the couple of years that I worked with him in the international set-up and he was always very professional," O'Neill told the FAI.

"He got to play in two very big matches at Euro 2016 and I'm sure the Italian game in Lille will be a big memory for him when he looks back on his days with Ireland.

"I wish him all of the best not just at club level but whatever he chooses to do after that."

Murphy broke the news of his retirement in an interview with The Herald as he stated:  "I spoke to Martin on Thursday and I just told him that I wanted to retire. It's a sad decision to make but one I feel I have to make

"I have been thinking about this for a long time but I know it's the right decision.

"I think it's mainly my age, I am 34, at that age I see no sense in carrying on. I think Martin is going down a route with younger players anyway so maybe the time is right.

"It was a tough decision, a really tough decision as I feel good and am in good shape but you know when your time is up."

Meanwhile, FAI CEO John Delaney has hinted a tribute to Murphy will take place during an upcoming Ireland international.

"Daryl can be extremely proud of his international career with Ireland. From a young lad with Southend United in his native Waterford through to playing at Euro 2016, he went a long way and proved that he could compete on the biggest stage," said Delaney.

"It is a huge privilege to represent your country and Daryl always appreciated that. You could see how much it meant to him to play for Ireland - even when he had a six-year gap between caps; he never lost that desire to do his very best.

"It should not be forgotten that he also excelled in the League of Ireland with Waterford United before earning a move to Sunderland. That period helped to shape his senior career and I know that he is very proud of his roots.

"We would like to pay tribute to Daryl at the Aviva Stadium for his contribution to Irish football, at a time that is appropriate for him. Daryl and his family are welcome back to the Aviva Stadium at any time."

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