Wednesday 12 December 2018

'I need to listen to my body ' - Bohemians keeper Shane Supple announces his forced retirement due to injury

Bohemians' Shane Supple. Photo: Sportsfile
Bohemians' Shane Supple. Photo: Sportsfile

Aidan Fitzmaurice

Shane Supple has announced his retirement from football due to a persistent injury.

The former Home Farm player had established himself as one of the top goalkeepers in the League Of Ireland in his time at Bohemians and only last week was named on the team of the year by the PFAI.

But the 31-year-old will not play again as he has decided to quit.

"As of today, I will be hanging up my gloves and stepping away from the game," Supple said in a statement on the club's website.

"This is a decision I haven’t taken lightly but due to a persistent hip issue and, after consultations with medical professionals, as well as those closest to me, I feel I can no longer play to the level needed and, more importantly, that I expect of myself.

"I need to listen to my body and can no longer put it through the high level of physical demand required at this level of competition as a goalkeeper in the League of Ireland.

"I had envisaged playing long into my 30s and had intended doing that with Bohs – a club that has been so good to me and has given me the most enjoyable years of my playing career."

Supple made headlines when he left Ipswich Town and quit football in 2009, focusing on his GAA career before returning to senior soccer, via Crumlin United, with Bohs in 2016.

Shane Supple's statement in full:

As of today, I will be hanging up my gloves and stepping away from the game.

This is a decision I haven’t taken lightly but due to a persistent hip issue and, after consultations with medical professionals, as well as those closest to me, I feel I can no longer play to the level needed and, more importantly, that I expect of myself.

I need to listen to my body and can no longer put it through the high level of physical demand required at this level of competition as a goalkeeper in the League of Ireland.

I had envisaged playing long into my 30s and had intended doing that with Bohs – a club that has been so good to me and has given me the most enjoyable years of my playing career.

Sport has given me so much enjoyment from as long as I can remember up to my last game in Dalymount at the end of this season.

Sport has taught me some of the most valuable life lessons and allowed me to meet some great people who have had such a positive impact on my life. I can look back on my career with no regrets and an awful lot of fond memories.

To Keith Long, I can’t thank you enough for bringing me to the club: You were always a man of your word, putting your team first. I don’t think you even realise the impact you have made on the players you manage. We are all better people having played under you. Our game and country need more people like you with the honesty, integrity and humility you display every day.

I’d also like to thank Trevor Croly – the best coach on this island and someone who cares about his players and Chris Bennion, my goalkeeping coach, who, despite his limited hearing, has been a pleasure to work with.

I’d like to mention Dave Henderson, who played a big part in me coming to Bohs and has been a constant mentor to me during my time at the club, a guy with an unbelievable knowledge of the game and who understands the player, not just his footballing ability but the personality and what motivates a player.

Everyone at the club from Lynn O’Neill to Robbie Murray to Colly O’Connor – I can’t thank you enough for helping make my time at the club so enjoyable.

I was lucky enough to be part of a dressing room full of good lads who became even better lads, and who played for the club, team-mates and mangement week in, week out.

It was a privilege to play alongside some great leaders, in particular our captain Derek Pender and my old friend Ian Morris, who always led by example and drove this team to demand more from ourselves every training session and game.

Unfortunately, men like these are a dying breed in the game but Bohs were lucky to have two of the best.

I will miss Friday nights in Dalymount the most, the atmosphere created by the best fans in the world with the flares, banners and Johnny Logan’s Hold Me Now. Nothing will replace that!

As a team we always knew you had our backs no matter the result and that’s something not many players can say about their own fans.

It was so satisfying to repay you with the run we went on the last three months of the season and to celebrate those nights with you after.

It was just a shame we couldn’t give you a day out at the Aviva that you deserved so much. I will never forget the night of the replay down in Turner’s Cross when you all sung The Auld Triangle after the game as we warmed down, the hairs on the backs of our necks stood up.

We may not have won any trophy, but we were successful in creating a bond between everyone associated with Bohs.

Stick with Keith and this team because you won’t get a more honest bunch.

I’m also delighted to see that Keith has already brought in an exceptionally promising young goalkeeper in James Talbot who will thrive if Bohs supporters give him the level of backing they did me.

I’d finally like to thank my dad for everything he has done for me down through the years. I would not be the man I am today if it wasn’t for him. Whether it was Ireland or England, Gaelic or football you were always there. You were always my hero!

Thank you to my mam and brother for their constant support down through the years even when I didn’t make life easy for them, and to my girlfriend who has been a great support in helping me make this tough decision.

I’m not sure what is next but I am looking forward to the next chapter of my life.

She Wore!

Shane Supple

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