'Shay has been a massive help to me' - Captain Coleman

'Shay has been a massive help to me' - Captain Coleman
Diarmaid Doherty sport@donegaldemocrat.com @dgldemocrat

Seamus Coleman has thanked Shay Given for the part the 'keeper has played in his international career.

The Killybegs man captained Ireland in their final two games at the Euros - the victory over Italy and Sunday's defeat to France.

And Coleman took time out to pay tribute to his Ireland team-mate as hundreds gathered for Monday night's homecoming celebrations in Killybegs.

“Shay has had an unbelievable career,” Coleman said.

“What a top 'keeper he is and what a top 'keeper he has been throughout the years.

“There’s a lot of talk about these older players making decisions (about retiring), but I don’t know what their decisions will be.

“But I can only ever be thankful to Shay. He has helped me massively, obviously being a Donegal lad, since I came into the squad.

“I’m not sure what his decision will be at the end of this tournament, but it has been a pleasure playing with him.”

Fourteen years ago, Shay was himself given a hero's welcome when he arrived back in Lifford after starring for Ireland at the World Cup in South Korea and Japan.

Now aged 40, Given became Ireland’s longest serving international when he won his 134th cap against Belarus prior to the Euros.

He didn't feature for Ireland in France and has yet to confirm his plans for his international future.