Galway's David Forde didn't have the most conventional career.
From leaving Galway United for the UK in 2001, he went from Wales' Barry Town to his big break at West Ham. Unfortunately, that didn't work out as he'd have liked, and he found himself back in Ireland with Derry City and, again, Galway United.
Another chance, a move back to Wales, to Cardiff City this time. Loan spells followed until Forde finally found his club. He signed for Millwall in 2008 as a 28 year old and his career had finally begun.
He spent 9 years at The Den, playing almost 300 times for the London club.
In 2011, David Forde made his Republic of Ireland debut in the short lived Carling Nations Cup. Two years later, at 33, he started against Sweden in a World Cup qualifier, becoming the oldest Irish player to make his competitive debut.
Over the next two years, Forde became the number one for his country, earning 24 caps.
Today, he's announced, at 39, that his career has come to an end, calling it a day. But once again, Forde hasn't done thing conventionally.
Having played with Cambridge for the past couple of years, he's decided to call it a day, but did so in an emotional, and poetic way, releasing an incredible video on his Twitter account.
The time has come to lay down my gloves for the last time. I have been truly blessed. To receive the honour and privilege to wear the crests and colours of incredible teams. Thank you all so much, go raibh mile mhaith agat mo anam cairde 🇮🇪⚽☘ pic.twitter.com/p2CLiLmjXj
— David Forde (@david_forde1) August 6, 2019
Forde's struggles throughout his career with documented in the documentary "Taming The Lion", and the wonderful poem accompanying his retirement points to that, while displaying a deep, content gratitude for a brilliant career.
I'm familiar with uncertainty. I'm not a stranger to the fog.
I've stumbled through the darkness, 'til I've reached the welcome dawn.
Stillness has become a teammate, when I learnt how to listen.
Every storm I've faced has helped me go the distance.
From simple days of playful focus, climbing steadily up these hills
Chasing wants, the need for greatness. A dream I live to fulfill
I've worn the crests of hallowed clubs, I've worn our shade of green
For the people of my island, for the game that set me free
Humbled by the fans who at each and every game
Inspired by their songs, they fuel my burning flame
When looking to the night sky, with dark sapphires amongst the stars
I sense the time has come for a new journey of mine to start
It's time to me to lay down my gloves with a heart full of gratitude and love.
And I'd like to say 'thank you' to my family, the fans, and my friends
To my coaches, mentors, teachers, and teammates that have walked alongside me throughout the years
Thank you for the memories, for the honour, for the love of the beautiful game.