Former Cork City defender Brian Lenihan forced to retire at 23

Wed, Apr 18 2018

Lenihan quickly established himself in the City team after joining from College Corinthians aged 18. Credit: Billy Galligan

Former Cork City defender Brian Lenihan has been forced to retire at the age of 23 due to persistent and chronic knee injuries.

The Cork native joined Hull from his hometown club in 2014 for a six-figure sum after impressing for Jon Caulfield's side in the Premier Division.

The full back has been released from his Hull City contract by mutual consent after making the difficult decision to hang up his boots on medical advice.

He was almost immediately called up the senior international squad as cover for the Euro 2016 qualifiers against Gibraltar and Germany but didn't see any game time.

It was while on loan at Blackpool in 2014 that he sustained his first major injury, returning to Hull after making just two appearances and spending several months sidelined.

He made his Tigers debut in 2016 only to break down with another injury that put him out until the following year.

Lenihan recovered again and earned a new contract in the summer of 2017. He made his final appearance at the beginning of the 2017-18 season in the league cup before breaking down again.

“In light of events late last year, it is with deep regret that I have had to retire from professional football. Having to retire at 23 is something I did not foresee... but such is life!

“This decision does not come lightly but due to the medical advice I have received it is an action that needs to be taken for my own wellbeing.

“Sometimes in life you need to give up on a life long [sic] dream to ensure you live a happy and healthy life!”

A statement on the Hull City website read: “Lenihan was a defender who showed great promise before the first of a succession of injuries halted his progress.

Those injuries restricted the right back to just two senior appearances for the Tigers, the most recent of which came last August when he captained the side in a Carabao Cup tie with Doncaster Rovers.

“Brian will always be regarded as part of the Black and Amber Army and we would like to wish him all the very best for the future.”

Lenihan played underage football with College Corinthians in Cork before joining City as an 18-year-old, and quickly became first-choice right back for Caulfield.