Irish international Doyle retires over concussion fears
Paris, Sept 29 (AFP) Former Ireland international striker Kevin Doyle announced his immediate retirement from football on Thursday after suffering two concussions and a series of debilitating headaches this season.
Doyle, 34, who had been playing for Colorado Rapids in the MLS in the United States, enjoyed a 16-year career which also included spells at Reading, Wolves, Crystal Palace and QPR in England.
However, fearful for his health, he has hung up his boots on medical advice.
"Today I'm sad to announce that after listening to medical advice I will play no further part this season and will be retiring," Doyle said in a statement released on his Twitter account.
"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.
"After consulting with experts in the field 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."
Doyle played 63 times for the Republic of Ireland -- scoring 14 goals -- and played at the 2012 European championships.
His efforts for the national side look set for him to be honoured by the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) at a later date.
"I am very saddened to hear of Kevin's decision to retire from football and I would like to pay tribute to one of the most hard-working and dedicated players to have represented the Republic of Ireland," said John Delaney, chief executive of the FAI.
"Kevin is one of the great Irish goalscorers of all time, who gave everything for his country. You could see that he appreciated every minute that he had on the pitch in a green jersey.
"We would like to pay tribute to Kevin at The Aviva Stadium (Lansdowne Road) for his immense contribution to Irish football, at a time that is appropriate for him