Home Psoriasis Karl Sheppard forced to retire with psoriatic arthritis aged just 29

Karl Sheppard forced to retire with psoriatic arthritis aged just 29

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League of Ireland stalwart Karl Sheppard has been forced to retire from professional football aged 29 after being diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis.

The Dubliner has been among the top players in the League of Ireland for the past decade.

He played for Shamrock Rovers, Cork City and Shelbourne during a successful career which saw him lift two FAI Cups and two league titles.

Karl Sheppard retire arthritis
Karl Sheppard has been forced to retire at the age of 29 after being diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis. Pic: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile via Getty Images

Despite approaching the prime of his life in the game, Sheppard has been forced to hang up his boots.

He broke the sad news on his official social media page, detailing the toll the arthritis had on him.

‘365 appearances and 89 goals later it is now time to hang up my playing boots. At 29 I should be in the prime of my sporting career, unfortunately 2 months after my best season, I was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis,’ he wrote.

Karl Sheppard retire arthritis
Sheppard enjoyed tremendous success during his stint playing for Cork City. Pic: INPHO

‘At first I didn’t think this would affect me, however, the past two seasons have shown my body cannot meet the demands of professional football. I have tried everything during this time to stay injury free, but this was an impossible task.’

Sheppard was apart of the Shamrock Rovers team that beat Partizan Belgrade to qualify for the Europa League group stages, an experience he referenced in his farewell.

‘I’d like to thank all the managers, coaches, back room teams and players I have had the pleasure to work with. I have made numerous friends for life and have made some unforgettable memories.

‘From a magic night in Belgrade to winning cup finals in the Aviva. Lastly I’d like to thank the fans. From the jeers of away fans to the cheers of the home. Last year showed me without fans, football’s nothing. Excited for the next chapter in my life and looking forward to watching LOI games this coming season.’

https://extra.ie/2021/01/17/sport/soccernews/karl-sheppard-retite

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