Thursday 17 October 2019

McCarthy hails 'role model' O'Shea as he calls time on stellar career

O’Shea won 118 senior caps for the Ireland, captaining the team at Euro 2016. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
O’Shea won 118 senior caps for the Ireland, captaining the team at Euro 2016. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Jamie Holland

Ireland manager Mick McCarthy led the tributes to John O'Shea as the former Man United defender marked his 38th-birthday by announcing his plans to retire after a career that spanned almost two decades.

The Waterford man will bring down the curtain when his Reading team play their final game of the season at home to Birmingham on Sunday.

O'Shea won 118 senior caps for the Ireland, captaining the team at Euro 2016, and the man who gave him his debut as a substitute against Croatia in a 2001 friendly at Lansdowne Road described him as a "role model professional".

"John O'Shea can take great pride in an exemplary career for club and country," said McCarthy.

"I gave him his debut for the last six minutes of that Croatia game and he deserves all the praise and plaudits that have come his way for his achievements since then.

"There are no guarantees for any player when they are starting out with their club or their country, but what John has done since then for Manchester United, Sunderland, Reading and Ireland has been outstanding.

"He has gone about it the right way throughout his career. His behaviour on and off the field has been a great example to everybody. John is a role model for professional footballers."

Word

O'Shea represented Ireland at the 2012 and 2016 European Championships and made 393 appearances for United during almost 12 years at the club.

"A fabulous playing career is coming to a close - today, on his 38th birthday, John O'Shea has announced he is to retire at the end of the season," tweeted Reading.

Having come through the ranks at Manchester United, the versatile O'Shea - who operated in defence or central midfield - also won the FA Cup, Champions League and two League Cups to go alongside his five league winners' medals.

United, meanwhile, drew on some of O'Shea's highlights from his time with the club, posting videos which included a last-minute winner at Liverpool, a memorable goal against Arsenal at Highbury and his nutmeg on Real Madrid's Luis Figo during a Champions League clash at Old Trafford.

O'Shea left United after winning his fifth and final Premier League title in 2011, opting to move to Sunderland.

However, after the Black Cats' relegation from the Championship last season, he would join Reading and has made 10 appearances for the Royals with one game of the season remaining.

Irish Independent

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