Ireland fans herald Shay Given as a legend as goalkeeper announces international retirement

Shay Given - Republic of Ireland

The Stoke City stopper has announced his second - and presumably permanent - retirement from international football.

Shay Given - Republic of Ireland

The Republic of Ireland lost one of their modern greats on Thursday as veteran goalkeeper Shay Given announced that he has retired from international football for the second and final time.

Given will leave behind him a long and well-remembered career wearing green, having made his debut for his country's senior side two decades ago in 1996.

The 40-year-old brings down the curtain on his time with the national side having won 134 caps for the boys in green, a total which is behind only captain and stalwart striker Robbie Keane.

Given initially retired from international football four years ago after Euro 2012, but that lasted just five months until he made himself available for selection once again at the start of 2013.

Stoke City's Shay Given

In 2014, two years after his previous appearance, he made his comeback in a friendly, and by last year he had regained his place in Martin O'Neill's first-choice squad despite playing very little club football for Stoke or previous club Aston Villa.

Though he did not play a single minute, he travelled as the most senior figure in O'Neill's squad to Euro 2016 as Ireland reached the last 16, but he has now retired from Ireland duty for a second time.

After his announcement on Thursday, Irish fans responded with an overwhelming show of support and gratitude for their former hero, with many labelling him the greatest goalkeeper ever to pull on the country's shirt.

Republic of Ireland's Shay Given and manager Martin O'Neill

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