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FAI to pay tribute to retiring Kevin Doyle

The Football Association of Ireland plans to pay tribute to Kevin Doyle after the news of the 34-year-old former Republic striker's retirement following repeated incidents of concussion.

Doyle, who won 63 caps for the Republic and played for the likes of Reading and Wolves, has latterly been in the MLS with the Colorado Rapids.

Doyle says heading the ball has become "problematic" and that two concussions this season alone have forced him to take medical advice.

In a statement on his Twitter account, Doyle, who scored 14 international goals, said: "This year been clear to me that heading the ball was becoming problematic and causing me to have repeated headaches.

"Two concussions this season and numerous others over the years have made this more concerning. After consulting with experts in this field, it has been decided that to avoid the possibility of these symptoms becoming more serious and permanent, I will be hanging up my boots for good."

Earlier this year the Professional Footballers' Association and the Football Association announced they were inviting applications for independent research into the of brain injuries caused by football.

Speaking in the wake of the news, FAI chief executive John Delaney said: "I am very saddened to hear of Kevin's decision to retire from football and I would like to pay tribute to one of the most hard-working and dedicated players to have represented the Republic of Ireland.

"Kevin is one of the great Irish goalscorers of all time, who gave everything for his country. You could see that he appreciated every minute that he had on the pitch in a green jersey.

"He made his mark in the League of Ireland and quickly transferred those talents to the international stage. Kevin was a great servant for his country and I wish him and his family the very best for the future.

"We would like to pay tribute to Kevin at the Aviva Stadium for his immense contribution to Irish football, at a time that is appropriate for him."

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