Published: 12:09 | 18/1/21

Sheppard announces retirement

Two-time Airtricity League winner Karl Sheppard has announcement his retirement from professional football due to arthritis.

The 29-year-old first revealed that he was dealing with severe arthritis and an over-active immune system two years ago, but managed to play on.

He was part of the Shelbourne squad which suffered relegation from the Premier League last season. 

After starting his career at Tolka Park, he also enjoyed spells at Shamrock Rovers (twice), Reading, Accrington Stanley (loan) and Cork City before returning to his first club in 2019.

With 89 goals in 365 career appearances, he won two Premier League titles - with Rovers in 2011 and Cork City in 2017. He also won two FAI Cup winners medals with Cork in 2016 and 2017.

Although most associated with Cork City, Sheppard was also part of the Shamrock Rovers squad which beat Partizan Belgrade to qualify for the group stages of the Europa League back in 2011. 

"At 29 I should be in the prime of my sporting career, unfortunately two months after my best season, I was diagnosed with Psoriatic Arthritis," he said in a statement announcing his retirement on social media. 

"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." 

Image: Sportsfile

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