Ex-United defender O'Shea to retire

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Former Manchester United and Republic of Ireland defender John O'Shea is set to retire at the end of the season, his club Reading have confirmed.

O'Shea, who won five Premier League titles during his time at Old Trafford, announced his decision on his 38th birthday on Tuesday.

The versatile defender also won the FA Cup and two EFL Cups and was part of the United squad that won the Champions League under Alex Ferguson in the 2007-08 season.

O'Shea left United in 2011 to join Steve Bruce's Sunderland, spending seven years at the club before signing for Reading last year.

But opportunities have been limited for the veteran this term and he has started only seven Championship games for the Royals, while he was on the bench for their FA Cup defeat to United at Old Trafford in January.

"A fabulous playing career is coming to a close – today, on his 38th birthday, John O'Shea has announced he is to retire at the end of the season," Reading posted on Twitter.

"Just a very small part of his playing days have been spent with the Royals, but he has amassed a medal collection that any player would be extremely proud of, winning almost everything possible during almost 20 years as a professional footballer.

"And, off the pitch, one of the nicest, most humble and genuine people you'll meet in any walk of life. Happy birthday and thank you for all your efforts during your time at Madejski Stadium, John! We wish you well in the next chapter of your career!"

O'Shea, who won 118 caps for his country, was still a regular in Ireland squads until he retired from international football last year.

His last appearance as a senior professional could come when Reading host Birmingham City on Sunday.