Irish icon officially calls time on his playing career

Wednesday marked the end of an era as Robbie Keane announced his retirement as a football player.

The news follows the 38-year-old's appointment as the new Republic of Ireland assistant coach.

Keane is Ireland's record goal scorer and hit the back of the net 126 times in the Premier League.

The Tallaght man lived every football fans dream - he began his career with Wolverhampton Wanderers in 1997.

He had spells at the likes of Inter Milan, Leeds, Tottenham, Liverpool, Celtic and LA Galaxy, before finishing his playing days at Indian club ATK.

He also provided a generation of Irish football fans with many happy memories - Keane says representing his country was the highlight of his sporting life:

"From Crumlin United around the world to the likes of Milan, London and Los Angeles, I could never have imagined the path my football life would take. It has exceeded all the hopes I had as a football-mad boy growing up in Dublin," his statement read.

"Leaving home at 15 years of age to pursue my professional career in England seems a lifetime ago now. I was a street footballer full of hope armed with huge ambitions and a determination to succeed. All I needed was that one chance.

"I have always wanted to test myself and strive to be the best that I could be, so I embraced new challenges be it at Coventry City, Inter Milan, Leeds United and then possibly the most successful period of my club football career with Tottenham Hotspur.

"I had the great privilege to represent and captain Tottenham over 238 games.  I had many wonderful times there and I will look back on my days at White Hart Lane with great fondness. The club will always hold a special place in my heart.

"There were shorter times spent at Glasgow Celtic and Liverpool, two truly iconic global institutions, and then West Ham United, before Los Angeles became our home away from home. We spent five hugely successful and rewarding years, both on and off the field, with LA Galaxy.

"I enjoyed every moment of the most incredible journey with the Ireland team over an 18-year period and as I have said many times before, words cannot express how proud I am to be Irish.  I hope I have made the fans proud wearing the green jersey and armband"