Doyle opens up on concussion problems that ended career

Updated / Friday, 10 Nov 2017 23:38

Kevin Doyle: "I feel great, I know it's the right decision."

Former Republic of Ireland striker Kevin Doyle has opened up on the persistent concussion problems that forced him to hang up his boots in September.

The 34-year-old Wexford man took the difficult decision to call it a day when persistent headaches from heading the football led to medical advice to walk away.

He had been playing with MLS outfit Colorado Rapids and had been named in Martin O'Neill's squad for the crucial World Cup qualifier against Bosnia.

Doyle still had hopes of making it to Russia but, after agonising over his situation, he hung up his boots.

"I got a bad concussion again, a concussion which I probably shouldn't have got," he told The Late Late Show.

"It was a ball that hit me in the head, a clearance from Ashley Cole when we were playing LA Galaxy.

"He went to clear a ball, bang - a bad concussion. Two weeks later I still had bad symptoms.

"You wait a couple of weeks before the club send you on to a neurologist. You do your tests, and do everything to see if you can return to play. 

"We sat down and had a long chat and he was like, 'if you can play soccer without heading the ball then play'. 

"We left it at that. I didn't make up my mind. It was (a case of), 'you could be fine... but there's a good chance, you basically get stuck with concussion symptoms, they don't go away'. You could get stuck with headaches, stuck feeling sick, stuck feeling a bit depressed basically.

"That was the prognosis that could happen. I took a few weeks and went to see someone else, you want to get a second opinion. It was the same thing.

"I feel great, I know it's the right decision."

Doyle made his senior Ireland debut against Sweden in 2006 and captained his country in the 1-0 friendly win over South Africa at Thomond Park in September 2009.

The former Reading, QPR and Wolves  frontman was part of the squad that won the Carling Nations Cup in 2011 and featured in two games at Euro 2012.

Doyle's final appearance in a green jersey was the narrow defeat to Iceland last March in Aviva Stadium. He is joint 21st in the all-time appearance charts and joint sixth in the all-time goalscoring charts.