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Praise pours in for retired Republic of Ireland striker Jonathan Walters

Republic of Ireland's Jonathan Walters celebrates scoring his side's second goal against Bosnia in 2015

MICK McCarthy and Seamus Coleman paid glowing tributes to Republic of Ireland striker Jonathan Walters after he announced his retirement from football yesterday due to an Achilles injury.

Coleman, who is preparing to lead the Irish against Euro 2020 opponents Gibraltar tonight, said the 35-year-old “nearly carried” the team to Euro 2016 finals after a string of brave-heart performances and a memorable double against play-off opponents Bosnia.

“Unfortunately he got injured before the Euros in 2016 and it didn’t go as well as he would have liked but I feel like he nearly carried us there,” said Coleman.

“Every time he’s played for his country he’s been inspirational. People like him will be massively missed.”

Capped 54 times, the former Burnley and Stoke City attacker met the Irish squad to tell them his reluctant decision to quit.

“It’s sad because I didn’t get a chance to work with him,” said McCarthy.

“He’s been an inspirational player for Ireland and for any club he’s played for.”

 

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