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Brunt contribution will be long remembered: O'Neill



Chris Brunt

Chris Brunt

Chris Brunt

Northern Ireland midfielder Chris Brunt has announced his retirement from international football.

The 33-year-old won 65 caps and scored three goals for his country in a career which began in 2004.

Brunt said he had taken the "difficult decision" in order to focus the remainder of his career solely on his club football with West Brom.

Brunt said in a statement: "After a period of lengthy consideration I have taken the difficult decision to retire from international football.

"I have spent a lot of time thinking it over but I feel, at this point in my career, I need my sole football focus to be on helping West Bromwich Albion return to the Premier League.

"After 14 years of international football this also gives me the opportunity to dedicate more time to my family.

"The past six years, since Michael (O'Neill)has been our manager, have been the most enjoyable of my international career.

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"It has always been an honour to represent my country but Michael restored pride following a difficult period for us as a team. He took us to a new level and for that I will always be grateful."

Northern Ireland boss O'Neill said: "I am disappointed that Chris is retiring as I believe that he still has much to offer. However I completely understand his decision to spend a bit more time with his young family and to concentrate fully on his club career.

"I want to thank him for everything that he gave me on the pitch. He was a model professional and his contribution to the Northern Ireland team over the past 14 years will be remembered for a long time to come."

Brunt missed the Euro 2016 finals due to a knee injury.

FULL STORY: Pages 46-47

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