Gareth McAuley hangs up his boots after a distinguished career for club and country

Thu, Oct 03 2019

Gareth McAuley in action for Northern Ireland Credit: Al Robinson (ETPhotos)

Former Northern Ireland international Gareth McAuley has confirmed that he has hung up his boots after a 23-year long career.

McAuley, now 39 years old, made 80 appearances for his country – while also playing in the Premier League for a spell with West Bromwich Albion.

While at the Baggies, McAuley made 203 appearances for the club over a seven year long period at the Hawthornes.   

The Northern-Irishman also played a major role in Northern Ireland’s breakthrough EURO 2016 campaign, where Michael O’Neill’s side secured a famous two-nil win over the Ukraine in Lyon.

"A lot of people have been asking me what my plans are since the summer, so I thought it was time to publicly state I've decided to retire from playing." McAuley said on his social media channels.

"I knew last season was going to be my 23rd and final year as a player and I know I'm hanging my boots up for the final time at the right time.

"From the second I first kicked a ball; it was always about the love of the game and a desire to win followed.

"I pride myself on getting everything possible out of my career and I'm proud to have played with - and against - some of the best players in Northern Ireland, England and Scotland as well as representing my country for 14 years.

"From Lincoln to Leicester City, to Ipswich and then West Bromwich Albion I fulfilled my ambition of playing in the Premier League."

McAuley departed West Brom in 2018, before going on to finish his career in Scotland with his boyhood club Glasgow Rangers.