Shamrock Rovers' Europa League goalkeeper Ryan Thompson announces his retirement

Sat, Sep 16 2017

The goalkeeper, nicknamed 'Godda,' made ten appearances for his country. Credit: Ian Anderson (ETPhotos)

Former Shamrock Rovers goalkeeper and Jamaican international Ryan Thompson has announced his retirement from playing at the age of 32.


The Kingston native has decided to hang up his boots as he pursues a new career as a goalkeeper coach with the University of South Florida.


Thompson was part of the Hoops side that made history by becoming the first League of Ireland side to compete in the group stages of the Europa League in 2011.


He announced the news on his Instagram on Saturday night.


“It's time to say thank you and good bye to the sport that has given me everything,” said Thomspon.


“It all started as a hobby and eventually became my dream, my everything.


“The unbelievable experiences, the friendships, the countries that opened their doors to me, the first coach that gave me an opportunity to express myself, my teammates home and abroad, the strangers that became family and my support system will always hold a special place in my heart.


“Some of my greatest soccer experiences were spent playing along side my fellow countrymen, team mates and brothers.


“I'm going to miss going to battle with you all. I'm forever grateful for everything that I've achieved and experienced.


“It was a honor and pleasure playing along side you boys especially when wearing the national colors. Special thanks to my wife and mom. Only the best is good enough. One Luv!!”


He became the first Jamaican to appear at any level of the Champions League when he started Rovers' third qualifying round game against Kobenhavn that year.


Thompson appeared in four of the Hoops' group games, saving a penalty in their opening defeat to Rubin Kazan at Tallaght Stadium, as the Tallaght side finished bottom of their group.


He was signed for Rovers by Michael O'Neill at the beginning of that season from Portland Phoenix, initially as back-up to Alan Mannus and as first choice after Mannus joined St Johnstone.


Thompson made ten appearances in total for his country between 2004 and 2017, including four appearances as Jamaica reached the final of the Gold Cup in 2015.


Following his release by Rovers at the end of 2011, Thompson spent time in Sweden before returning to the US with USL side the Tampa Bay Rowdies.


He had spells with Pittsburgh Riverhounds and St Louis and most recently was contracted to Central FC in Trinidad and Tobago.