A grateful nation pays tribute to the retiring, ritzy Wes Hoolahan
We always knew we would one day arise to the news that Wes Hoolahan was calling it a day. We just wished for that day to come in the 2020s... or later.
Stanley Matthews - that great Stoke, Blackpool and England star - played on in top flight football until he was aged 50. Wes Hoolahan could do likewise and be out on the Lansdowne Road pitch, in 2033, stroking delicious passes about and picking out runs from 40 metres back.
Instead, the midfielder opted to bow out with as much grace as he so often demonstrated in the green jersey.
The 35-year-old has retired from international football after saying 'this is the right time to do it'.
The news is slowly sinking in with Irish football fans but those that have registered that Hoolahan will not don the green jersey again have paid lovely tribute to 'Wessi'. Here are some of the best:
— Irish Football Pics (@irish_pics) February 8, 2018
The departure of Wes Hoolahan from international football is a sad day indeed. I’d hoped he’d be our Roger Milla starring into his 40s. Big (albeit medium sized) shirt to fill for some young gun!
— Stephen Finn (@FutsalFinn) February 8, 2018
Lionel Wessi. What a player. #weshoolahan
— Alan Keegan (@alanckeegan) February 8, 2018
Our Irish Messi Wes Hoolahan retires from international football - I’ve loved watching him play for ireland the last few years! Time for the lads to step up #ThanksWessi #coybig #ncfc pic.twitter.com/Gw65WWLLaU
— RicÆrdooooooooo 🎃👻 (@R1card0_J) February 8, 2018
— Tom Carroll (@Tom_Carroll88) February 8, 2018
And spare a thought for Eamon Dunphy...
Please everyone, spare a thought for Eamon Dunphy this morning 😔 https://t.co/QJ6qkohyhK
— Paddy Stapleton (@pasaint) February 8, 2018
Wes Hoolahan retires from international .... guarantee Dunphy will still bang on about him 😂🙉
— JK (@jen_JK) February 8, 2018
— Tony Kelly (@tkell82) February 8, 2018
Fair play Wes. You'll be sorely, sorely missed.