A free agent since being released by League Two Bury in the summer, the prolific Northern Ireland striker's efforts to stay fit have been hampered by ankle problems that have finally forced him to quit.
Though he struggled to reach the same heights at club level, he achieved legendary status with Northern Ireland after amassing nearly 100 caps and notching almost three times as many goals as their previous record scorer.
In a statement, Healy said: "I am today announcing my immediate retirement as a player from professional football. After a playing career, of some 18 years, the point has come for me to move on to a new challenge.
"Over half my life has been dedicated to the game that I love and although you have to get on by your own efforts and making the best of your own abilities, my career would not have been anything like it has, without the help and support of so many people.
"I have had so many memorable moments at all the clubs I have had the honour of wearing the shirt for, I thank them and the supporters. But it's as a Northern Ireland player the memories will always be closest to my heart.
"There have been some pretty tough days in the Green shirt, let's be honest, but when we got it right and when I had the chance to play my part, those are the days that will stay in my memory for ever."
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