Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy has described John O’Shea as a ‘role model professional’ after the former Irish defender announced he will retire at the end of the season.

O’Shea will bring the curtain down on his playing career after Reading’s Championship clash with Birmingham City on Sunday concludes their season.

The Waterford born 38-year-old won the first of his 118 Ireland caps when McCarthy introduced him as a substitute against Croatia in a 2001 friendly at Lansdowne Road.

Twice a European Championship finalist with Ireland, in 2012 and 2016, O’Shea also played for Manchester United and Sunderland in a stalwart career.

"John O’Shea can take great pride in an exemplary career for club and country," said McCarthy.

"I gave him his debut for the last six minutes of that Croatia game and he deserves all the praise and plaudits that have come his way for his achievements since then.

"There are no guarantees for any player when they are starting out with their club or their country but what John has done since then for Manchester United, Sunderland, Reading and Ireland has been outstanding.

"He has gone about it the right way throughout his career. His behaviour on and off the field has been a great example to everybody. John is a role model for professional footballers.

"I know John is the ambassador for the Under 17 European Championship tournament that is about to kick-off in Ireland and I hope to meet him at the Ireland-Czech Republic game in his native Waterford on Tuesday night."