September 29, 2017 / 7:54 AM / 21 days ago

Soccer-Ireland's Doyle retires after concussion-related headaches

Sept 29 (Reuters) - Republic of Ireland international Kevin Doyle has announced his retirement from football as the 34-year-old struggles with persistent headaches.

The striker had been named in Ireland’s squad for World Cup qualifiers against Moldova and Wales next month but his decision means he will not add to his 63 caps and 14 goals.

Doyle made his name playing for Reading and Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Premier League before moving to the U.S. where he turned out for MLS side Colorado Rapids.

In a statement posted on Twitter on Thursday, Doyle said he had decided to hang up his boots after receiving medical advice.

“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,” he added.

“After consulting with experts... it has been decided that to avoid the possibility of these symptoms become more serious and permanent, I will be hanging up my boots for good.”

Ireland FA CEO John Delaney hailed the former St Patrick’s Athletic and Cork City forward as “one of the most hard-working and dedicated players” while Ireland manager Martin O‘Neill praised Doyle’s attitude.

“Kevin was extremely popular with all of the players in the Irish camp and he was an excellent professional, who has served his clubs and country very well during his career,” he told the Irish FA’s website (www.fai.ie). (Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford; )

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