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Kings of Anglia Issue 9 Magazine Offer

Former Ipswich goalkeeper Supple hangs up his gloves for a second time due to ongoing hip injury

PUBLISHED: 14:16 13 November 2018 | UPDATED: 14:17 13 November 2018

Shane Supple has retired from football for a second time.

Shane Supple has retired from football for a second time.

Archant

Former Ipswich Town goalkeeper Shane Supple has announced his retirement from football for a second time, due to a persistent hip injury.

Supple, pictured playing Gaelic Football in Ireland. Picture: Caroline QuinnSupple, pictured playing Gaelic Football in Ireland. Picture: Caroline Quinn

The goalkeeper, who walked away from Ipswich nearly a decade ago after admitting he had fallen out of love with the sport, had returned to action with Dublin club Bohemian in the League of Ireland.

His superb form lead to a dream call-up for the senior Irish squad in May but, with a hip injury restricting him in recent months, he has called time on his career with a heavy heart.

“As of today, I will be hanging up my gloves and stepping away from the game,” he wrote in a statement on the Bohemian website.

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“This is a decision I haven’t taken lightly but due to a persistent hip issue and, after consultations with medical professionals, as well as those closest to me, I feel I can no longer play to the level needed and, more importantly, that I expect of myself.

“I need to listen to my body and can no longer put it through the high level of physical demand required at this level of competition as a goalkeeper in the League of Ireland.

“I had envisaged playing long into my 30s and had intended doing that with Bohs – a club that has been so good to me and has given me the most enjoyable years of my playing career.

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Supple went back to play Gaelic after falling out of love with football.  

Picture: Caroline Quinn, DUBLIN EVENING HERALDSupple went back to play Gaelic after falling out of love with football. Picture: Caroline Quinn, DUBLIN EVENING HERALD

“Sport has given me so much enjoyment from as long as I can remember up to my last game in Dalymount at the end of this season.

“Sport has taught me some of the most valuable life lessons and allowed me to meet some great people who have had such a positive impact on my life. I can look back on my career with no regrets and an awful lot of fond memories.”

Supple quit football in 2009 after admitting he had fallen out of love with the sport after making 38 appearances for the Blues.

He returned to Ireland, went back into education and planned to join the Gardai - Ireland’s state police - before a recruitment freeze scuppered that plan. He revived his Gaelic football career with St Brigid’s.

Supple challenges with former Ipswich striker Shefki Kuqi in a reserve game. Picture by Alex FairfullSupple challenges with former Ipswich striker Shefki Kuqi in a reserve game. Picture by Alex Fairfull

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He founded a goalkeeping academy that held sessions at Leinster Senior League side Crumlin Town and, when they suffered something of a goalkeeping crisis in 2015, he felt duty bound to help out.

From there he joined Bohemians in 2016 and impressed Ireland boss Martin O’Neill enough to earn a senior call-up.

He left Ipswich at a time when Roy Keane was the Blues’ manager and was reunited with his former boss when he reported for Ireland duty, with Keane the current Ireland assistant manager.

Speaking soon after he opted to leave Portman Road in September 2009, Supple said; “It’s something that I have been thinking about for a long while.

“It’s obviously a big decision but I feel that playing professional football is not something I want to continue doing as a career.

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“There is no one reason why I have made my decision, there are a number of factors, but deep down my heart is not in the game anymore and I’m not going to go into work every day trying to convince myself that it is so it’s the right time for me to walk away.

“I want to thank the manager (Roy Keane) for the support he has given me. He was a bit shocked when I told him and I expected that but he understood my reasons. He’s been first class.

“People probably think I’m crazy but I’m not going to stay in the game for anyone else, I’m making this decision for myself.”

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