Former Republic of Ireland, Burnley and Wolves defender Stephen Ward has announced his retirement aged 36.

Ward won 50 Ireland caps, scoring three times and appearing at two Euros - in 2012 and 2016.

Mick McCarthy, who brought Ward to to Wolves from Bohemians back in 2007, described the Dubliner as one of his best ever buys when Ward announced his international retirement in 2019.

McCarthy transformed Ward from being an attacker into a left-back, a position where he would carve out a long and distinguished career.

Ward moved on to Burnley in 2014 and enjoyed a successful five-year stint there before heading to Stoke City, Ipswich Town and Walsall, who he has just helped to safety in League Two.

"I have decided to retire now as I feel my body is telling me it's time to stop playing," said Ward.

"I have really enjoyed my last season as a professional at Walsall and I am grateful to both Matt Taylor and Michael Flynn for how they have handled my last season.

"I want to thank all the players, staff, the Chairman and the fans for making it a very special year for me.

"Unfortunately we didn't achieve what we wanted to on the pitch but I felt after securing our status in the league last Friday, it was a perfect time to stop.

"It will let the manager and lads finish the season strong and set them up for next season which I have no doubt will be a massive success.

"I have lived every kid’s dream. It is with a heavy heart that I have come to this decision but I am looking forward to the next chapter in my life. Thanks again, Wardy."