David Connolly: AFC Wimbledon's former Ireland striker retires

David Connolly
Connoll's international career lasted from 1996 to 2004 and he scored nine goals for the Republic

AFC Wimbledon striker David Connolly has decided to retire at the age of 37.

The former Republic of Ireland international joined the club in January after his contract with Portsmouth was cancelled.

Connolly had previously played alongside Dons manager Neal Ardley for the old Wimbledon FC.

"Neal and I decided that we would take it month by month in terms of assessing whether I could deliver physically at my age," he told the club website.external-link

"As time has gone on I felt that starting games was difficult and so too was travelling up and down the country to come off the bench for 10 minutes or so.

"I pulled Neal aside for a heart to heart chat and I felt that now was the time to call it a day."

Connolly's eye for goal
Connolly scored 146 goals from 444 games in all competitions during his club career
His most prolific spell was for the old Wimbledon FC between 2001 and 2003 when he found the net 42 times in only 68 appearances

Connolly made eight appearances for the Dons, six of them as a substitute, scoring once.

He won 41 caps for Ireland and also had spells with Watford, Feyenoord, West Ham, Leicester, Wigan, Sunderland and Southampton.

Ardley hailed Connolly as "the best striker I ever played with".

He added: "I have total respect for David. He feels that the money we are paying him would be better spent on someone who can start games.

"He does not feel he is that person. That is a rare quality to accept that. I tried to talk him around, but his mind was made up."