The Irish rugby legend has called time on his playing career
On Tuesday morning, Paul O'Connell announced his decision to retire from professional rugby, which came as a surprise to many supporters and fans.
The Munster and Ireland legend had been out of action after suffering an injury at the World Cup, and in a statement released announcing his decision, O'Connell stated that his mind was made up "following medical advice".
Since the news broke, fans, former players and famous figures began speaking about their love for Paulie, confirming his place as a legend in Ireland's sporting history.
It had to happen eventually - but it's still a bit like hearing Superman has decided to hang up his cloak #PaulOConnell— Joe O'Shea (@josefoshea) February 9, 2016
Wishing @Paul_OConnell every success in retirement, an amazing leader & inspiration to a generation of future rugby players.— Gordon D'Arcy (@Gordonwdarcy) February 9, 2016
Really disappointing to see @Paul_OConnell having to retire. Sensational career in Red & Green. Simply irreplaceable.— Brian O'Driscoll (@BrianODriscoll) February 9, 2016
Pity that Paul O'Connell didn't get to chose his exit from playing but fitting he finished in Green competing & leading as always #Legend— Bernard Jackman (@bernardjackman) February 9, 2016
Sad to see @Paul_OConnell retire, but what a legend on and off the field. Pleasure to share the same field with and against him.— gethin jenkins (@gethinjenkins1) February 9, 2016
Paul O'Connell's career ended by injury but he went out at the top, one of the best ever, playing at his best in beating France at Rwc15.— Matt Cooper (@cooper_m) February 9, 2016
Almost typical that Paul O'Connell's career ended as he battled for a turnover. Took many a battering for his province and country. #POC— Murray Kinsella (@Murray_Kinsella) February 9, 2016
So many great things about Paul O'Connell. He maintained immense standards to the end. 6 Nations Player of Tournament 2015 speaks volumes— Joe Molloy (@MolloyJoe) February 9, 2016
Paul O'Connell - a one-off, both on and off the pitch. Class Act. Leader of Men. #ThanksPaulie— Bernard O'Toole (@BernardOToole) February 9, 2016