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Page last updated at 09:41 GMT, Thursday, 29 July 2010 10:41 UK

Damien Johnson calls time on Northern Ireland career

Damien Johnson
Damien Johnson was capped 56 time by Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland midfielder Damien Johnson has announced his retirement from international football.

The Plymouth Argyle player was capped 56 times for his country.

"It has been a huge honour for me to represent Northern Ireland and I have enjoyed many special moments during my career," said the 31-year-old.

"This hasn't been an easy decision to make but, with the help of my family, I feel it is the best decision for my career," added Johnson.

"I'd particularly like to thank Nigel Worthington for his support and understanding over the last couple of weeks and I wish Nigel and the team every success for the European Championship campaign."

Johnson made his senior international debut in an international challenge match away to the Republic of Ireland on 29 May, 1999.

His last appearance came against the Czech Republic in a World Cup qualifier in Prague on 14 October 2009.

"Northern Ireland is losing a very experienced player and a truly excellent professional," said Northern Ireland boss Worthington.

"I fully understand how Damien feels at this stage in his career and I fully respect his decision.

"I would like to thank Damien for his contribution and praise him for his commitment to Northern Ireland football during my time as international manager."

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see also
Gorman retains place in NI squad
29 Jul 10 |  Irish
McCartney injury concern for NI
22 Jul 10 |  Irish

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