30/09/2019

NI Football Legend Gareth McAuley Retires

Northern Ireland defender Gareth McAuley has announced his retirement from football.

With a career that spanned 23 years and featured nine goals in 80 international appearances for his local time, the 39-year-old Larne man believes now is "the right time" to hang up his boots.

Issuing a statement abut his decision on Monday, Gareth said he looks forward to spending more time with his wife and two children.

"To play 80 times for my country and score nine goals, I enjoyed every second I wore the Northern Ireland shirt and will be forever thankful for the support I was given," the football star told fans.

"Now I'm looking forward to spending time with my wife Fran, my son Bobby and daughter Alexis, and enjoying some of the things I've missed out on down the years."
News Image
McAuley played for Linfield, Crusaders and Coleraine before his career took him to higher levels of the sport- an achievement he is "extremely proud of".

After stints at Lincoln, Leicester City and Ipswich, he spent the majority of his career representing at West Bromwich, before his final move to Rangers, the club he supported as a boy.

"I fulfilled my ambition of playing in the Premier League," the towering sportsman reflected, before speaking of his days playing at Ibrox and representing NI in the Euros 2016: "To pull on that blue shirt meant the world to me. But it was the green shirt of Northern Ireland which filled me bursting with pride.

"It was always easy for many years but when success came it made it all the sweeter, not just for me, the players and the staff but also the fans who have supported us through good times and bad.

"It's been a dream, a privilege and an honour to represent so many great clubs and work under managers and coaches who helped mould my career."



(JG/CM)

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

10 March 2020
First & Deputy First Minister Cancel Washington Trip
Arlene Foster and Michelle O'Neill have cancelled their planned trip to Washington on Wednesday. The First and deputy First Ministers will instead attend a COBRA meeting on the coronavirus at Downing Street.
10 March 2020
Belfast St Patrick's Day Parade Postponed
The annual St Patrick's Day parade in Belfast has been postponed over fears of coronavirus. The move by Belfast City Council comes after the decision to cancel events in the Republic of Ireland was taken on Monday.
10 March 2020
Covid-19: Four New NI Cases
Four new coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Northern Ireland. The Department of Health said the presumed positive cases are all adults. One individual had recently travelled from northern Italy while three others can be traced to previously reported cases of those who recently visited the region.
12 March 2020
Benefit Payments Will Continue During Self-Isolation
Benefit claimants have been reassured that their payments will not be affected by self-isolation due to Covid-19. The Department for Communities clarified the situation via a statement on Wednesday. Anyone unable to attend an appointment at their Jobs and Benefits office or medical assessment centre is advised to let officials know immediately.
18 March 2020
Latest Coronavirus Figures Emerge
A further six coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Northern Ireland as the first and deputy First Ministers call for a "whole of society" approach. Arlene Foster and Michelle O'Neill say measures to support and protect the general public will only be effective if everyone follows health advice. The new cases bring totals to 68.