By David Anderson
NIALL QUINN has not ruled out a future return to football in a management capacity following his retirement yesterday from the game due to persistent injury problems.
The 36-year-old waved an emotional goodbye to Sunderland fans on the pitch on Sunday at half-time in their Premiership game against Tottenham Hotpsurs at the Stadium of Light.
"I love football and the dressing room. But it’s time to put my legs up - I’ve got the choice, and that’s the wonderful thing that football’s given me. I can sit back and get to Christmas - and then maybe I’ll be writing letters to clubs.
"I’m not turning my back on the game but I need a bit of a break. I need a few weeks to recharge the batteries. I don’t know what I'm going to do, but I feel so grateful for the life football has given me," he admitted.
"It has been an adventure," Quinn admitted. "I’ve enjoyed it. The luck I have had along the way has been incredible. The Indian summer I had at this club was something really, really special. I think somebody up there had a soft spot for me because I wasn't the greatest trainer in the world."
Quinn played for Ireland at the World Cup in June and won 91 caps for his country. The tall Dublin-born striker retired from international football after the World Cup. He will stay on at Sunderland, for whom he has played since 1996, in an ambassador’s role.
Quinn started his career at Arsenal in 1983, spending seven years at Highbury before moving to Manchester City in 1990. His last appearance for Sunderland was in the 1-0 home defeat by West Ham on October 19.
Quinn also revealed that Sunderland manager Howard Wilkinson had offered him a coaching role at the club which he had turned down.
"I couldn’t really become a hypocrite and train as poorly as I have done for the last 20 years and then start telling people you have got to train hard," Quinn joked.