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Page last updated at 15:48 GMT, Friday, 13 November 2009

Celtic's Kennedy forced to retire

John Kennedy
Central defender Kennedy made 45 appearances for Celtic

Celtic have announced that defender John Kennedy has retired from football on medical advice.

The 26-year-old's career was blighted by injury ever since he sustained serious knee damage on his Scotland debut in 2004.

After almost three years out, he returned to action with Celtic before another knee injury put him out again.

In 2008, he joined Norwich on loan and experienced more disappointment when he suffered ankle ligament damage.

"It is with great regret that I have made this decision. However, given the medical advice which I received, this is the right decision," Kennedy told the Celtic website.

"Clearly, this is very disappointing for me and my family. However, this is something I will accept and come to terms with.

"I have enjoyed my time with Celtic immensely and I would like to thank everyone at the club and all the Celtic fans for all the support and backing they have given me during my time.


"It has been an absolute privilege to play for such a great club and of course I wish the team the very best for the future."

Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell added: "Everyone at the club is devastated at the news of John's retirement.

"John is a young man who has been an absolute credit to this club and someone who had one of the brightest futures in the game. We are all deeply saddened by this news.

"John is someone who fought his way through the Celtic ranks to become a first-team star - something which is a magnificent tribute to his talent and ability.

"No-one will ever forget how he performed in the Nou Camp that famous evening back in 2004 and no-one will ever forget how he was so cruelly injured in his prime.

"We thank John for everything he has given us - the club will be doing all it can to provide John with as much support as possible."

John Kennedy
Kennedy's first knee injury kept him out of the game for almost three years

In total, Kennedy made 45 appearances for Celtic after coming through the Glasgow club's youth ranks.

Capped 15 times for Scotland's Under-21 side, Kennedy's senior international career was restricted to the fateful match against Romania, when a tackle by Ionel Ganea resulted in the defender's first knee injury.

"It's really sad for the boy," said current Scotland manager George Burley.

"This is a big blow to John, his family and everyone who knows him.

"He's been through a lot of heartache over the years. At one point he was one of the most promising defenders Scotland had.

"You never know what can happen in football, it shows you the ups and downs of a footballer. Whatever career he decides on, we wish him all the best."

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see also
Norwich lose Kennedy for a month
19 Sep 08 |  Norwich
Kennedy injured as Burley watches
17 Sep 08 |  Internationals
Norwich win loan race for Kennedy
27 Jul 08 |  Celtic
Strachan buoyed by Kennedy news
30 Nov 07 |  Celtic
Celtic back full Kennedy recovery
20 Oct 05 |  Celtic
Scotland 1-2 Romania
31 Mar 04 |  Scotland

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