'Second only to Alan Shearer' - Fans of Damien Duff's former clubs pay tribute to retired footballer
Irish football fans have been quick to pay tribute to retired footballer Damien Duff, while fans of his former clubs have also acknowledged the contributions of the Irish star.
The former Republic of Ireland winger today called time on his 20-year playing career, finishing his career at Shamrock Rovers.
The 36-year-old came through the youth system at Blackburn, before moving onto Chelsea, Newcastle and then Fulham, winning two Premier League titles, an FA Cup and League Cup during his career, in addition to helping the Cottagers to the 2010 Europa League final.
"After much deliberation, I have today decided to bring my professional football career to an end," he said in a statement released by Shamrock Rovers.
"My heart wants me to continue playing but my body has finally won the battle and told me to stop. I've lived every young boy's dream and I know I am a very lucky man.”
Irish fans have taken to social media to pay homage to the popular Duff, but fans at his former clubs have also joined the chorus of praise.
One Chelsea fan fondly remembered his cool finish against Barcelona in the Champions League while a Fulham supporter highlighted Duff’s ability to relieve his side of pressure.
“No better at Craven Cottage at buying a free-kick when under the cosh than Damien Duff. Happy retirement.”
Duff made his mark at Blackburn Rovers before his £17m move to Chelsea and one Ewood Park supporter has placed the winger right up there with the best to ever play for the club.
"A true #brfc legend retired today. Damien Duff - hands down the 2nd best #rovers player in my lifetime behind @alanshearer.”
Damien Duff has called it a day What a sad time for every #rovers fan. Too many memories to pin point one, but what a player he was!— Nathan Longworth (@nathanlong26) December 21, 2015
Congratulations to Damien Duff for a great career.— Kartik (@KartRiter) December 21, 2015
Damien Duff one of greatest wing maestro in football.— #ThankYouJose (@SammyOtiono) December 21, 2015
Damien Duff, a skilful winger that fans loved & defenders hated. Ireland's greatest ever winger.— Shane Costello (@shanecostellos) December 21, 2015
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