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Sunday, 10 November, 2002, 16:06 GMT
Quinn confirms retirement
Sunderland striker Niall Quinn (right) battles with Everton's Alan Stubbs
Quinn has not started one game this season
Niall Quinn's long-standing back problem has forced him to retire from football.

Sunderland's Republic of Ireland striker officially announced his retirement during the interval at the Black Cats' game against Spurs on Sunday.

The 36-year-old brought forward his decision having originally planned to wait until he had received the results of a scan on his back next week.

Quinn played for Ireland at the World Cup in June and won 91 caps for his country.

He announced his retirement from international football in the summer.

A Sunderland player for the last six years, Quinn will now take an ambassador's role at the club.

The Irishman revealed that new Black Cats boss Howard Wilkinson had offered him a coaching role at the club.

"I turned it down - not out of disrespect but because I don't think I really want to be a football coach," Quinn said.

"Peter Reid was the only person I would have been a coach for before and as he got the sack 12 weeks later I don't think I did a very good job!

"I am just going to spend a couple of months thinking about my future."

Quinn started his career at Arsenal in 1983, spending seven years at Highbury before moving to Manchester City in 1990.

The striker's last appearance for Sunderland was in the 1-0 home defeat by West Ham United on 19 October.

He won widespread acclaim when he donated the proceeds from his benefit match to charity last season.

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Sunderland striker Kevin Phillips
"Niall's been a great ambassador for the game"
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