Damien Duff announces his retirement from football

Republic of Ireland international Damien Duff announced his retirement on Monday.

Duff, 36, just completed a League of Ireland season with Shamrock Rovers.

The former Celtic, Newcastle and Fulham winger called himself a "very lucky man."

"After much deliberation, I have today decided to bring my professional football career to an end," he wrote.

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

"I've lived every young boy's dream and I know I am a very lucky man.

"I would like to thank everyone who has helped me along the journey from schoolboy football in Dublin and moving to England as a teenager right up to today.

"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.

"I am grateful to Pat Fenlon and Shamrock Rovers FC for giving me the opportunity to finish my career back home -- they have some exciting plans for the club for the future and I wish them well. I had hoped to play for one more year but it was not to be.

"Thank you to all the many fans for your support over the years.

"I would like to especially thank my wife Elaine, my children, my parents Gerard and Mary and my family for being, and continuing to be, my biggest supporters."