Duff returns home, will donate salary to charity

Shamrock Rovers signed Damien Duff on Tuesday but the former Chelsea and Newcastle United winger is expected to play for free.

Former Republic of Ireland international Damien Duff plans to donate his wages to charity, according to reports, after signing a contract with Shamrock Rovers.

The 36-year-old winger has agreed to an 18-month deal with the League of Ireland club, which will see him play senior football in his homeland for the first time in his career.

But in a twist, it is believed Duff will not pocket a cent of his salary, with Heart Children Ireland - a charity he is an ambassador for - expected to receive the Dublin-born veteran's pay cheques as donations.

Speaking at his unveiling on Tuesday, Duff claimed he was just as excited about signing for Shamrock Rovers as he was when he joined the likes of Newcastle United and Chelsea earlier in his career.

"It's great to have it all finalised and now I'm just really looking forward to getting back on the pitch," he said in a statement on Shamrock Rovers' website.

"I am still out with a bit of an injury, but I should be ready to get back training fully before the end of the month. After that I will be very keen to get back playing regularly.

"I have always said that I wanted to come back and play in Ireland and I am very grateful to Pat and the club for giving me the chance to do that. Not only do I get the chance to come back and play, but I get to do it at the biggest club in the country."

Duff spent last season in Australia's A-League with Melbourne City but after a bright start, the 100-cap former Ireland attacker was struck down by a lower leg injury that affected both his calf and ankle.

He finished the 2014-15 campaign with 15 appearances, one goal and three assists.