John O'Shea and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

O'Shea announces retirement from football

John O'Shea has announced, on his 38th birthday, that he is to retire from professional football.

The former Republic of Ireland international, who amassed 118 caps for his country, is with Championship side Reading and was on the bench for our Emirates FA Cup tie against the Royals at Old Trafford in January.

Reading conclude their campaign with a home game against Birmingham City on Sunday.

When O'Shea was our goalkeeperVideo

O'Shea, a versatile defender, played in all positions for United, including in goal towards the end of a fine win at Tottenham in February 2007, when Edwin van der Sar was injured. He also appeared up front as an emergency striker on a few occasions, including one home game against his future club Reading. In total, he won five Premier League titles with the Reds after coming through the ranks.

He also helped the Reds win the FA Cup, two League Cups, four Community Shields and, in 2008, the Champions League and FIFA Club World Cup.

A loyal servant under Sir Alex Ferguson, he was allowed to link up with ex-Reds skipper Steve Bruce at Sunderland in 2011, and was a regular for seven seasons at the Stadium of Light before heading south to Reading last year.

'Sheasy' will be fondly remembered by all United fans for some magical moments during his illustrious career. A barnstorming performance at full-back against Newcastle United helped spawn the 'When Johnny goes marching down the wing' chant and who can forget his dramatic late winner at Anfield in 2007? The goal was a key one en route to winning another title and came in front of the Kop.

He also scored a majestic chip in a famous 4-2 win at rivals Arsenal in 2005, the winner in the home leg of the Champions League semi-final against the Gunners four years later, and managed to nutmeg Real Madrid star Luis Figo at Old Trafford in 2003.

Was this O'Shea's greatest goal?Video

Writing on Instagram, Sheasy said: “I feel very privileged to have had 21 years in the game but it is now time to officially announce my retirement from football this Sunday. 

”I am grateful for all the people who believed in me and for all the opportunities along the way. I would like to sincerely thank all the managers, coaches, players and staff that I have worked with and also my family for their endless encouragement throughout my career. 

“To the fans, a big thanks to you for the continued support. Now it's time to move onto the next chapter where I can hopefully give something back to others. It has been an honour.” 

Everybody at the club would like to wish 'Sheasy' the very best in his retirement.

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