O’Carroll hangs up his boots

Widnes forward Eamon O’Carroll has announced his retirement from rugby league.

O’Carroll, 30, made 149 Super League appearances for the Vikings, Hull and Wigan, as well as earning six caps for Ireland.

He said: “Whilst I’m saddened that my career as a Rugby League player has had to come to an end, I’m also very grateful to have had the opportunity to live my dreams on the field. 

“I’m very proud to have represented three great clubs in Wigan Warriors, Hull FC and Widnes Vikings, as well as my country too.

“I’d like to thank Waterhead Warriors ARLFC, who first introduced me to the game that I love, as well as the coaches, players, staff and supporters of every club that I have been part of. 

“I leave the sport with some special friendships and memories, and I know that my experiences as a player have helped made me the person that I am today.

“I’m grateful to Widnes Vikings, who explored every opportunity to help me through the injury challenges that I have faced and have been of great support. 

“I know that this is the right time for me to step away, so I can enjoy a healthy and happy future with my family. 

“Rugby League has been my life and I plan to stay within the game; I am genuinely excited for this next chapter of my career.”

O’Carroll suffered a nerve injury in the recent defeat to Wakefield, which was his seventh appearance of the season, all off the bench.

Injury has restricted him to just 37 appearances in the last four seasons.

Born on 13th June 1987, O’Carroll started out at Waterhead RL, before making his move to Wigan in 2002, and steadily progressed through the academy; which finally resulted in him playing prop in the 2005 and 2006 seasons.

In April 2006, Eamon represented Wigan in the Challenge Cup against Wakefield Trinity; and instantly won over the hearts of all Wigan supporters, because of his natural talent, work rate and passion on the pitch.

Therefore, it was no surprise to see him make 13 Super League appearances for Wigan in the 2007 season.

By 2008, the player really started to have a reputation for being a no-nonsense, tough and resilient prop forward; who had proved himself time and time that he could take on the biggest and the best in the game.

In spite of his size, the player excelled on the pitch, and made 21 solid appearances and scored two tries. The club then gifted him with a three year contract.

It was here that he attracted the attention of many suitors, and was named in the Ireland squad for the 2008 Rugby League World Cup.

In this tournament, the player was not fazed and lived up to all expectations; and held his own against some of the best and most experienced players in the world. In fact, it was duly noted by some established bookmakers like Sportingbet, that O’Carroll was one of the stand out players for Ireland, who definitely influenced the match betting.

In September 2011, O’Carroll joined Hull F.C on a three year contract; but then after a year signed a contract with the Widnes Vikings in June 2012 to stay till the end of 2014. However, he signed an extension to the contract in April 2014 for another two years.

O’Carroll actually scored on his Widnes debut, but then suffered an injury two games later which meant the end to his season.

He showed his strength and character to recover and only miss three games in 2013, pass 100 senior club appearances and represent Ireland against Fiji in his second World Cup.

His career was littered with injuries that would have spelt the end to any ordinary player, but O’Carroll still managed to stack up 149 Super League, represented Ireland in two Rugby League World Cups and won a total of six caps between 2007 and 2013.

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