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WATCH: Retiring Jon Walters Speaks Emotionally About His Late Mother's Ballybough Roots

By James Fenton

March 23, 2019 at 12:18pm

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Yesterday, Ireland forward Jonathan Walters succumbed to injury and announced that he is officially retiring from football.

Channeling his inner Alanis Morisette, the former Stoke City man posted 'Isn’t it ironic...my Achilles heel has literally been my Achilles heel and finished me off! I am now retired from playing football It’s been epic,' leading to a wave of tributes from these shores and beyond.

Walters, who was born on Merseyside, didn't waste any time in addressing his adoring public by appearing as a pundit on Virgin Media's coverage of the England v Czech Republic game last night. The station dedicated plenty of airtime to the retiring hero and when Tommy Martin asked him what it all meant, it led to a pretty emotional moment.

Johnny described how his mother, who passed away when he was eleven, hailed from Ballybough in Dublin and how pulling on a green jersey was all he ever wanted to do.

"I get a lot of stick because I have an English accent but my mum was from Dublin and every time we weren't in school we were over in Ireland," he said before adding: "It's what I wanted from a very young age. From a personal point of view it means everything. The most difficult thing to leave is the Ireland side of it. I can park club football to the side but the Irish side is one thing I'll miss massively.

It's great for fans to hear, particularly when a recent defector, who also has an English accent, was heard to say "as you can hear, I am English" in an interview earlier this week.

After 54 caps 14 goals, Ireland salutes you, Super Johnny Walters.

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