Wednesday 21 February 2018

Medical fears end Doyle's career

Ireland striker hangs up boots due to growing worries about impact of repeated concussions

Kevin Doyle has joined the Wexford Under-20s management team
Kevin Doyle has joined the Wexford Under-20s management team
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

Kevin Doyle has retired from football due to medical advice arising from the impact of concussion.

The Colorado Rapids front man made the surprise announcement last night and offered illuminating reasons for his decision.

Earlier this week, the 34-year-old was named in the provisional Ireland squad for next week's World Cup qualifiers with Moldova and Wales.

But he has suffered an interrupted season in America and confirmed that he has been troubled by the problems that ultimately led him to calling it quits.

"I'm sad to announce that after listening to medical advice I will play no further part this season and will be retiring," said Doyle in a statement on Twitter.

"This year it has been clear to me that heading the ball was becoming problematic and causing me to have repeated headaches.

"Two concussions this season and numerous others over the years have made this more concerning. After consulting the experts in this field, it has been decided that to avoid the possibility of these symptoms becoming more serious and permanent, I will be hanging my boots up for good."

Doyle shot to prominence in 2005 where his starring displays for Cork City earned him a move to Reading who he quickly helped to the Premier League.

He later joined Wolves for £6.5m where he initially shone under Mick McCarthy but back-to-back relegations affected his standing and he had loan spells with QPR and Crystal Palace before moving to America in 2015.

The Wexford man said that the highlight of his career was representing Ireland. He scored 14 times in 64 caps and was first choice next to Robbie Keane at Euro 2012. Doyle was named senior player of the year for 2008 and 2010 but has been on the periphery since the appointment of Martin O'Neill.

He missed out on a place in his Euro 2016 squad and his final international appearance came in a friendly with Iceland earlier this year.

"I'm privileged and proud to have fulfilled my childhood dream of playing for my country. Everything else was a bonus," he said.

Irish Independent

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