'Get him on the staff' - Sunderland fans react to cup final captain John O'Shea's retirement decision

John O'Shea made over 500 appearances in a 20 year career, often filling in at full-back and midfield for Alex Ferguson's Manchester United.
John O'Shea made over 500 appearances in a 20 year career, often filling in at full-back and midfield for Alex Ferguson's Manchester United.
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John O'Shea's finally retiring having won multiple Premier League titles and a Champions League with Manchester United - but how will Sunderland fans remember him?

Ex-Sunderland defender O'Shea announced yesterday that he'll be calling time on a stellar 20-year career at the end of the season - the one-time Bournemouth loanee featured 256 times for the Black Cats and played under nine different permanent managers.

O'Shea signed for Sunderland in 2011 when former Manchester United legend and then Sunderland manager Steve Bruce offered the Irishman a four-year deal.

O'Shea signed for Sunderland in 2011 when former Manchester United legend and then Sunderland manager Steve Bruce offered the Irishman a four-year deal.

The Waterford-born defender joined Steve Bruce's Sunderland in 2011 after a trophy laden 12 years with Manchester United in which the 118-time Republic of Ireland international won five Premier League titles, the Champions League an FA Cup, a League Cup, a Club World Cup and four Community Shields

O'Shea, famed for once nutmegging Real Madrid's Luis Figo in the Champions League, played a crucial role in dragging the Wearsiders to Premier League safety under managers Martin O'Neil, Paolo Di Canio, Gus Poyet, Dick Advocaat and Sam Allardyce - and also captained the club to the Capital One Cup Final against Manchester City at Wembley in 2014.

The 38-year-old also had a hand in bringing bragging rights to the Stadium of Light, starting in every game of Sunderland's famous six-in-a-row winning streak over arch-rivals Newcastle.

The good times didn't last, however.

On his 100th Republic of Ireland cap, O'Shea scored an unlikely goal against World Cup winners Germany to earn his country an unlikely point away from home.

On his 100th Republic of Ireland cap, O'Shea scored an unlikely goal against World Cup winners Germany to earn his country an unlikely point away from home.

After suffering back-to-back relegations O'Shea left the club in 2018 to join Championship side Reading, but finally decided to hang up his boots with first team opportunities at the Madejski Stadium limited.

Commenting on Twitter some fans argued that chairman Stewart Donald should bring O'Shea back to the club club as a coach with many looking back at his stint in red and white fondly, whilst others claimed he featured in Sunderland's worst ever 11.

@hillwalker70: "A good servant for us, we could do with someone organising our defence like he did now!"

@bigsimongray: "In my worst Sunderland XI."

@WERGHJIGgJ:" He was awful for 3 seasons but he didn’t deserve as much as he got, definitely out stayed his welcome."

@mackemjake: "Get him on the staff @stewartdonald3."

@Brk3r1: "Wonder if he would fancy a coaching role within the club?"

@barrie_waller: "Great servant."

@clubliamfoxtrot: "Thanks John. Got way too much stick but that was purely the fault and reaction to a poor want-away owner, dreadful managers and a squad not pulling it's weight."

@andrewritson: "To a player I admire and respect happy birthday and retirement in playing football. Hope your life onwards is what you hope is."

@reddwharf: "Best of luck, John and thanks for your years of service to our club. Happy retirement!"

@WestSussexSAFC: "Time to bring him home."

@DanielJenkins89: "Announce O’Shea playing in Cattermole Testimonial"