NI's Johnson announces retirement from international action

Northern Ireland’s Damien Johnson has announced his retirement from international football.

“It has been a huge honour for me to have represented Northern Ireland and I have enjoyed many special moments throughout my international career,” said the 31-year-old, who has been capped 56 times for his country.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has helped me during my time with the Northern Ireland team: the managers who I have played under; the backroom staff; all of the players I've played alongside; and the incredible fans for their support.

“It hasn't been an easy decision for me to make but, with the help of my family, I feel it is the best decision for my career.

“I'd particularly like to thank Nigel Worthington for his support and understanding over the last couple of weeks. I wish Nigel and the team every success in the forthcoming European Championships.”

Johnson made his senior international debut on 29 May 1999 in an international challenge match away to the Republic of Ireland; with his last appearance for Northern Ireland being on 14 October 2009 in a World Cup Qualifier away to the Czech Republic.

Northern Ireland manager Nigel Worthington said: “Northern Ireland is losing a very experienced player and a truly excellent professional, but I fully understand how Damien feels at this stage in his career and I fully respect his decision.

"I would like to thank Damien for his contribution and praise him for his commitment to Northern Ireland football during my time as international manager and I wish him all the very best in his career which lies ahead.”

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