Ireland cenutrion Duff announces retirement

Former Chelsea and Republic of Ireland winger Damien Duff has hung up his boots, ending his time at Shamrock Rovers early.

Damien Duff has announced his retirement from professional football.

The former Republic of Ireland international rose to prominence at Blackburn Rovers, where he made 103 appearances and scored 21 goals before earning a transfer to Chelsea.

Duff claimed two Premier League titles under Jose Mourinho before moving on for spells with Newcastle United, Fulham, where he was a Europa League runner-up in 2009-10, and Melbourne City in the A-League.

The 36-year-old, who accumulated a century of caps for Ireland, returned to Shamrock Rovers in July 2015 and, after nine top-flight appearances, has opted to hang up his boots, though he confirmed he will remain in the game.

"After much deliberation, I have today decided to bring my professional football career to an end," Duff said on Monday in a statement on Shamrock Rovers' official website.

"My heart wants me to continue playing, but my body has finally won the battle and told me to stop.

"I am extremely proud to have won 100 caps for my country – it was always my greatest pleasure to represent Ireland and I have many magical memories from my international career.

"While I have finished playing, I am progressing with my coaching badges and will stay involved in the game for many years to come."