Colorado Rapids' Kevin Doyle retires due to multiple concussions

Colorado Rapids forward Kevin Doyle says he is retiring from professional football because of repeated concussions.

Doyle is from Ireland and has played 16 years both in Europe and in Major League Soccer. He released a statement via social media on Thursday.

"This year it has been clear to me that heading the ball was becoming problematic and causing me to have repeated headaches," Doyle wrote. "Two concussions this season and numerous other over the years have made this more concerning."

Doyle said after consulting with doctors he decided to retire rather than risk permanent damage.

The 34-year-old has appeared in 71 matches with the Rapids since joining the team in 2015, with 16 goals and eight assists.

He's been a regular with the Republic of Ireland since 2006, making 63 appearances with the team and scoring 14 goals.

And the Football Association of Ireland plans to pay tribute to Doyle, with its chief executive saying he was saddened to hear the circumstances surrounding his retirement.

Earlier this year the Professional Footballers' Association and the Football Association announced they were inviting applications for independent research into the of brain injuries caused by football.

Speaking in the wake of the news, FAI chief executive John Delaney said: "I am very saddened to hear of Kevin's decision to retire from football and I would like to pay tribute to one of the most hard-working and dedicated players to have represented the Republic of Ireland.

"Kevin is one of the great Irish goalscorers of all time, who gave everything for his country. You could see that he appreciated every minute that he had on the pitch in a green jersey.

"He made his mark in the League of Ireland and quickly transferred those talents to the international stage. Kevin was a great servant for his country and I wish him and his family the very best for the future.

"We would like to pay tribute to Kevin at the Aviva Stadium for his immense contribution to Irish football, at a time that is appropriate for him.''

Information from PA Sport was used in this story.