Gary Doherty: Ex-Norwich City defender forced to retire by injury

Gary Doherty
Gary Doherty scored 41 goals across his 501 games for five different clubs

Wycombe Wanderers and former Republic of Ireland defender Gary Doherty has retired at the age of 34.

The Donegal-born centre-half has not played this term after suffering a knee injury in pre-season.

His 17-year career spanned 501 games for Luton Town, Tottenham, Norwich City, Charlton and Wycombe, and he also won 34 caps for his country.

"It's the hardest decision for any footballer to have to make," said Doherty, who also played as a striker.

"You always hope you'll be able to retire in your own time when it's right for you, but injury has forced my hand and it's one of those things you have to deal with."

The Ginger Pele
In reference to his no-nonsense approach to playing - whether as a target man or central defender - fans affectionately, and ironically, referred to Gary Doherty as 'The Ginger Pele'

Doherty had only just returned following surgery for a displaced and broken forearm and a dislocated elbow, when he suffered the career-ending injury.

After starting his career with Luton, he went on to play 78 times for Spurs, but it was his spell at Norwich that proved the most significant of his career.

He joined the Canaries in the Premier League side in 2004, and suffered two relegations with the Norfolk side to the Championship and League One.

Doherty made 47 appearances for Wycombe after joining them two years ago.

"Gary is a special guy who's had a fantastic career, so I'm gutted for him that he's had to retire," said Chairboys boss Gareth Ainsworth.

"I know it was a tough decision, but he has to do what's right for him and I know I can speak for all of the lads when I say it's been a privilege to have him in the squad."

Gary Doherty playing for Luton Town
Gary Doherty made his Luton Town debut in 1997
Gary Doherty for Republic of Ireland
He made his first appearance for the Republic of Ireland in 2000 and went on to win 34 caps
Gary Doherty for Tottenham
Here he takes on Patrick Vieira, Martin Keown and Tony Adams of Arsenal in a 2001 FA Cup semi-final - he scored Spurs' only goal in a 2-1 loss
Gary Doherty for Norwich City
One of his earliest contributions as a Norwich City player was a late equaliser in a 2-2 draw at Newcastle

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