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Karl Sheppard retires at the a...

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Karl Sheppard retires at the age of 29


Former Cork City striker Karl Sheppard has announced his retirement from football.

The 29-year-old - who also won a league title with Shamrock Rovers in 2011 - says he has been forced to call time on his career due to being diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis.

He spent his final season with Shelbourne, who suffered relegation to the First Division last term.

He also spent some time in the UK with Reading and Accrington Stanley.

It is with Cork City he enjoyed his best form, spending four years on Leeside.

His stint in Cork yielded the 2017 league title and two FAI Cup triumphs.

In a statement on social media this afternoon [Sunday], Sheppard says it has become apparent in recent years that his 'body cannot meet the demands of professional football'.

"365 appearances and 89 goals later it is now time to hang up my playing boots," he posted on Instagram.

"At 29 I should be in the prime of my sporting career, unfortunately, 2 months after my best season, I was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis.

"At first I didn't think this would affect me, however, the past two seasons have shown my body cannot meet the demands of professional football.

"I have tried everything during this time to stay injury-free but this was an impossible task."

Acknowledging all of those who helped him during his career, he referenced the European success he enjoyed with Shamrock Rovers.

He was with the Hoops when they qualified for the Europa League group stage in 2011.

"I'd like to thank all the managers, coaches, back room teams and players I have had the pleasure to work with," he said.

"I have made numerous friends for life and have made some unforgettable memories.

"From a magic night in Belgrade to winning cup finals in the Aviva, not to mention some great nights in between.

"Lastly, I'd like to thank the fans. From the jeers of away fans, to the cheers of the home. Last year showed me without fans, football's nothing.

"Excited for the next chapter in my life and looking forward to watching LOI games this coming season."



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