Celtic defender Kennedy forced to retire from football
2009-11-13 - Added by
Celtic defender John Kennedy has decided to hang up his boots after receiving medical advice that his recurring injuries would never allow him to be fully fit.
The 26-year-old has not played a first-team game in eleven months after picking up an ankle ligament injury whilst on loan at Norwich City last December.
Kennedy's career has been plagued by injury ever since he seriously damaged his knee on his debut for the Scottish national side against Romania in 2004 following a horror tackle by Ionel Ganea.
After facing three years on the sidelines with the injury, he returned in 2007, only to suffer the same injury again.
Now after the latest in a long line of setbacks, Kennedy has been advised to retire from the game, and he has agreed to call it a day.
The centre-back came through the youth ranks at Parkhead, and went on to play 45 times for the first-team, as well as earning 15 caps for the Scotland Under-21 side.
"It is with great regret that I have made this decision. However, given the medical advice which I received, this is the right decision," he told the club's official website.
"Clearly, this is very disappointing for me and my family. However, this is something I will accept and come to terms with.
"I have enjoyed my time with Celtic immensely and I would like to thank everyone at the club and all the Celtic fans for all the support and backing they have given me during my time.
"It has been an absolute privilege to play for such a great club and of course I wish the team the very best for the future."
Scotland boss George Burley has spoken of his disappointment that Kennedy has been forced into early retirement.
"It's really sad for the boy," said Burley.
"This is a big blow to John, his family and everyone who knows him.
"He's been through a lot of heartache over the years. At one point he was one of the most promising defenders Scotland had.
"You never know what can happen in football, it shows you the ups and downs of a footballer. Whatever career he decides on, we wish him all the best."