A grateful nation pays tribute to the retiring, ritzy Wes Hoolahan 3 years ago

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.

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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:

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And spare a thought for Eamon Dunphy...

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Fair play Wes. You'll be sorely, sorely missed.