Kilbane hangs up his boots

by Kate Smith

Former Black Cat announces retirement.

Former Sunderland star Kevin Kilbane has announced his retirement from professional football.

The 35-year-old, who signed for Coventry City this past summer, has been working as a BBC Radio 5 live analyst has revealed he will concentrate on media work after hanging up his boots.

Following the announcement Kilbane said: "It's been in my mind for the last couple of months.

“It's a big decision. I've had so many memories and have so many things to cherish during my career.

"I'm going to take a little time away from the game. I'm going to do a bit of media work,” he continued.

"It's the next chapter now I've got to look forward to.”

Kilbane is the Republic of Ireland's third most capped player with 110 international games under his belt.

He kicked off his football career with Preston North End and West Bromwich Albion before moving to Sunderland in 1999.

The midfielder spent four years at the Stadium of Light before having spells with Everton, Wigan, Hull, Huddersfield and Derby and Coventry City.

Kilbane was signed by Peter Reid in December 1999 and he made an immediate impact; coming off the bench on his debut against Southampton and setting up the winner for Kevin Phillips.

He notched 116 appearances in a red and white shirt, grabbing eight goals for the Black Cats before leaving on transfer deadline day in August 2003.