Former Cork City and Republic of Ireland international midfielder Colin Healy has announced his retirement from playing at the age of 37.
Healy won 13 international caps for the Republic of Ireland and would likely have earned more were it not for a horrific debilitating knee injury sustained while playing for Sunderland in 2013.
The Corkman had been a late call-up for the 2002 World Cup squad following the departure of Roy Keane but was denied the opportunity to play as the official deadline had passed.
Healy spent seven years with his hometown in two separate spells, having first signed for the club in 2007 under the stewardship of Damien Richardson.
City boss John Caulfield, who managed Healy for the last three years of his career, hailed the midfielder
“Since myself and John Cotter came into the club, Colin was a huge player, both on and off the pitch.
“The fact that Colin had played at the highest level during his career shone through, and the good habits and total professionalism he had were a huge help to us in driving the club forward.
“Colin was always on hand for the younger players, in training, in matches and so on, to give them advice and help bring them through.”
“We all remember him for that phenomenal overhead kick in the last minute against St. Pat’s, which will live long in the memory, but over the last three years that I have been here he made a massive contribution to the club.
“He played a huge part in us returning to European football but, most importantly, winning the Cup last year, which he played a huge part in.
“That was a fitting way for him to finish out his career, after the heights he reached as a player, to win a trophy with his local club.”
“He was a pleasure to have around the club and players like that make a manager’s job easy.
“I speak to Colin regularly and, when the time is right for him, we would hope that he will return to the club in another capacity.”
Healy began his professional career with Celtic having joined from local side Wilton United, and the imposing midfielder made his debut in a 3-0 home defeat to Rangers in 1999 aged 19.
After spending time on loan with Coventry City, Healy signed for Sunderland under his former Ireland boss Mick McCarthy in 2003.
He broke his leg in a game against his former club, Coventry, later that year and sustained another break shortly after his recovery the following year.
Following his release from Sunderland in 2006, Healy spent time with Scottish side Livingston, alongside Wes Hoolahan, Barnsley and Bradford City before returning to Ireland to join City.
The club's financial woes led to Healy's departure in 2009, when he was signed by Keane for Ipswich Town, and spent two years at Portman Road before returning to Turner's Cross.
Healy spent a further five seasons with City, first under Tommy Dunne and then John Caulfield, and he was part of the squad that won the 2016 FAI Cup with victory over Dundalk in the final, his second with the club.
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