Sheffield Wednesday promotion winner heads into coaching after retirement - formerly of Stoke City, Aston Villa and Manchester City

One of the stars of Sheffield Wednesday’s last play-off success has retired after a superb career.
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Glenn Whelan played 159 times for the Owls between 2004 and 2008, the highlight coming at Cardiff and in a 4-2 extra time win over Hartlepool United that put his side back into the second tier under Paul Sturrock.

A classy midfield technician who was hugely popular with Owls supporters, he is often held up as one of the major Wednesday success stories of modern times, having gone on to play 276 times in the Premier League for Stoke City, where he also played in Europe.

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Whelan also retires with a remarkable 91 international caps for the Republic of Ireland, representing his country at both European Championships in 2012 and 2016.

Having moved to Stoke from S6 for a fee of £500k in 2008, he went on to play for Aston Villa, Hearts, Fleetwood Town and then Bristol Rovers, for whom he played for the final time in a 3-2 defeat to Owls play-off rivals Bolton Wanderers on Sunday.

Whelan, 39, is currently undertaking his UEFA Pro-licence qualification and has also joined the coaching staff with the Republic of Ireland under-16 side.

Wednesday were among the clubs and figures to pay tribute to Whelan’s career on social media.

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“I can’t thank Whelo enough,” said his Rovers manager Joey Barton. “He came and signed for us at Fleetwood, he was a cultural ambassador, driving standards in training and in the dressing room.

“I thought he might have pulled up stumps at the end of last season and declared it then that he’d had a great innings but he wanted to scrap on, while he was still switching across to the coaching department as well.

“That is the last we will see of Glenn as a player but he has been a fantastic player and it was nice of our fans to show that appreciation. That’s a nice way for him to go out, he was exceptional when he went on, he got the reward and the recognition from our fanbase that his career deserves.

“He has been a superb footballer in his career and was exceptional with us, he goes into the coaching space now with that ringing in his ears and he deserves that.”

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