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02nd Jun 2018

John O’Shea bows out to touching standing ovation at the Aviva

Matthew Gault

An Irish footballing legend.

118 and out. With 34 minutes of Ireland’s friendly against the United States, John O’Shea’s number went up and exited stage left.

The 37-year-old defender would have liked the last act of his 17-year international career to be in Russia, of course, but while he had to settle for the US’s inconsequential visit to Dublin, the former Manchester United favourite will have been touched by the reception.

O’Shea was replaced by Darragh Lenihan and, as the captain on the night removed his armband and handed it back to Seamus Coleman, the Aviva Stadium rose to their feet to offer their appreciation as one of Ireland’s most successful players bowed out.

The players, too, with Coleman and Jonathan Walters embracing the Waterford native as he jogged off. Martin O’Neill greeted his trusted on-field lieutenant with a hug on the touchline as applause rang out across the stadium.

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