But football fanatic Jimmy says he feels privileged having been present at some of his most outstanding games where he played for his country.
The Labour Senator has ben a long-time fan of irish soccer and has followed the green army around the globe.
He said “I was in Lansdowne Road when he made his debut in 1996 and I was in Poznan in June which turned out to be his last game for Ireland. I have also been to many games in between and he has been a magnificent professional and an ambassador for both Donegal and his country on each occasion.
“His performances for Ireland are well documented and without him we would have lost many important games. Throughout his career Shay has kept in touch with his friends in Donegal and his decency is evident any time he is approached by fans.
“He will be missed from international football but he is a role model to many young kids who will see that nice guys do come first and that a career like Shay’s is possible.
“I look forward to seeing him perform again for Aston Villa this season and he will be a top keeper for a few seasons yet. Well done Shay and thanks for the memories.”