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Northern Ireland's Healy announces retirement

ESPN staff
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David Healy scored the winning goal against England © PA Photos
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Northern Ireland's leading goalscorer David Healy has retired at the age of 34.

The striker scored 36 times in 95 appearances for his nation, including a stunning hat-trick against Spain in 2006 and the winning goal against England in a World Cup qualifier the year before.

"I don't think too many people will be surprised. I have been without a club for five months," Healy said.

Healy left Bury last season, and had hoped to find another club, but has now brought the curtain down on his career.

"I didn't enjoy my last six months at Bury because of a number of circumstances," he added. "I still thought in the summer that I was capable and would be fit enough if I got a good pre-season under my belt.

"But that didn't happen and it's hard going down to the gym and doing 20 or 30 minutes of aerobic stuff on your own. It would have been great to have achieved 100 caps but at the same time I didn't want to be getting token caps."

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