Damien Duff called time on a fantastic career in December, prompting thousands of Irish football fans to reminisce on his glory days as one of the best players to pull on a green jersey in recent times.
Duff has provided Ireland with many memorable moments since he broke into the national team as a fresh-faced teenager, and actually even before he broke into the senior squad due to his successes with at youth level, but he has recently spoken of the moment when he knew it was time to call it a day.
Having made the decision to finish out his career in the League of Ireland with Shamrock Rovers, it was a Leinster Senior Cup semi-final that made Duffer realise that he didn't want to continue playing after the end of the season.
It was a Leinster Senior Cup semi-final against Bohemians and I was playing in the team along with a few young lads.
Although we’d won, when I got home that night, I just felt as flat as a pancake. I have very high standards for training and matches and just thought the time was right to finish.
As Roy Keane said to me earlier tonight, your body tells you when it’s time to stop. So, the next morning, I asked the Rovers manager Pat Fenlon for a minute to chat and told him I was finishing up at the end of the season.
In fairness to Pat, he tried to convince me to stay on a few weeks later but my mind was made up.
Having played first team football for the best part of 20 years, where Duff won two Premier League titles with Chelsea, two League Cups (one with Chelsea, one with Blackburn), and an unforgettable 2006 Intertoto Cup win with Newcastle, he decided he had reached the end of the road.
We're not sure yet if we'll get to see much more of Duffer, either in coaching or in punditry, but he's definitely going to Euro 2016 as a supporter, and he had a pretty solid reason for choosing to do so:
Well, I’ve started getting really into the red wine thing. One of the games (against Belgium) is in Bordeaux, so that’s one I’ll definitely be at.
See you there, Damien.