Shamrock Rovers star and former Ireland international Keith Fahey retires from football through injury
FORMER Ireland international Keith Fahey has announced his shock retirement from professional football at the age of 32.
The Shamrock Rovers midfielder has taken the decision on medical advice after surgery on a knee and hip injury sustained in May revealed serious damage.
Fahey made just 12 league appearances for the Hoops following his controversial winter move from Dublin rivals St Patrick’s Athletic. Ironically, his last appearance came at Inchicore in an FAI Cup defeat to the Saints.
The Tallaght man, who was capped 16 times for Ireland under Giovanni Trapattoni, said: “Unfortunately I have had to come to this decision after taking advice from the doctor and surgeon. I feel that it is the right time to finish playing professional football.
“I’d like to thank everyone that has supported me, managed me and played with me during my time playing football.”
Rovers boss Pat Fenlon paid tribute to the player. “Keith will be a big loss to Shamrock Rovers and the League of Ireland in general,” said Fenlon. “He has been a central part of our squad this season and has been a great influence on the players, particularly the younger members of our squad.”
“We will miss his experience at the club, experience he brought from playing at the top level of English football, in addition to his international career, and I want to wish him all the best in his retirement.”
Fahey had stints with Arsenal and Aston Villa as a teenager but struggled to settle in England and he really made his name back in Ireland in two spells with St Patrick’s Athletic. His outstanding performances in 2008 earned him a move to Birmingham.
He contributed to their promotion to the Premier League and was part of the team that won the League Cup in 2011. Irish recognition went in tandem with his rise and he will be best remembered for the crucial winning goal in Armenia that ended up having a big say in Ireland’s qualification for Euro 2012.
Unfortunately, he missed that tournament due to a late setback, and continued to be troubled by injuries in the period that followed. Problems with his hip were a factor in his departure from Birmingham, and he was also keen to move back to Ireland for personal reasons. He helped St Pat’s win the FAI Cup at the Aviva Stadium in his final outing for the club.