Football News

John O’Shea: Former Man Utd defender announces retirement from professional football

By William Eldridge

Published: 17:51, 30 April 2019

Experienced defender John O’Shea has announced that he intends to retire from professional football at the end of the season.

The former Republic of Ireland international has enjoyed a successful career that has predominantly taken place in the Premier League with both Manchester United and Sunderland.

Five unforgettable moments from O’Shea’s career

  1. The defender once nutmegged Portugal legend, Luis Figo, when Manchester United faced Real Madrid in 2003.
  2. After an Emmanuel Adebayor goal for Tottenham Hotspur, O’Shea reacted in horror to Spurs boss Tim Sherwood’s salute in celebration.
  3. Not one for scoring many, O’Shea scored a vital goal for Manchester United, a delicate chip vs Arsenal in 2005.
  4. Injuries forced the defender to go in goal for Manchester United in their 4-0 victory over Spurs in 2007.
  5. That same year, O’Shea scored a match-winning goal for the Red Devil’s away to arch-rivals Liverpool in the Premier League.

The defender is currently playing for Championship outfit Reading, who eventually avoided any threat of relegation and will look forward to another season in England’s second division next season.

However, O’Shea will not be around to partake with his announcement – landing on the same day as his birthday – prompting his current employers to wish him well with his future endeavours.

Posted via their official Twitter account, Reading wrote: “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.

“Just a very small part of his playing days have been spent with the Royals, but he has amassed a medal collection that any player would be extremely proud of, winning almost everything possible during almost 20 years as a professional footballer.

“And, off the pitch, one of the nicest, most humble and genuine people you’ll meet in any walk of life. Happy birthday and thank you for all your efforts during your time at Madejski Stadium, John! We wish you well in the next chapter of your career!”

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O’Shea’s career in numbers

Making his debut for Manchester United in a 3-0 EFL Cup defeat against Aston Villa in 1999, O’Shea went on to have a fantastic career in English and international football.

The Irishman made 393 appearances for United in all competitions, scoring 15 goals and helping the club win five Premier League titles, the Champions League, an FA Cup, two EFL Cups, four Community Shields and one Fifa World Club Cup.

A scorer of vital goals and a man of rememberable moments, O’Shea eventually moved to Sunderland where after initial success, the club drastically fell apart and Sunderland suffered successive relegations from the Premier League and Championship.

The 38-year-old joined Reading last summer and has made eight league appearances with just one game to play.

His international career has been nothing short of consistently effective, with the defender earning himself the honour of the countries third-highest capped player in history.

After making his debut in 2001, O’Shea has amassed 118 caps for Ireland, only bettered by Robbie Keane (146) and Shay Given (134).