Despite a return to form and a run in the first team in recent weeks, Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher has announced his decision to retire at the end of this season.
The 35-year old will call time on a distinguished career with the Reds during which he made over 700 appearances (second only to Ian Callaghan on the all-time list) and won two FA Cups, three League Cups, a UEFA Cup and the coup de grace, the Champions League in 2005, when as well as having a fine game (after half-time at least), he convinced goalkeeper Jerzy Dudek to recreate the theatrics of Bruce Grobbelaar in the penalty shoot-out.
Carragher was Liverpool through and through and as well as having probably the most distinct Scouse accent in football, his love for the club shone through on many occasions and he was well respected by his peers.
News of Carragher’s pending retirement will come as a disappointment to Liverpool fans, not only because of his legendary status amongst the club’s support, but also because he has delivered some excellent performances at centre-half during Liverpool’s recent run of form.
Carragher, however, released a statement this afternoon confirming that this season will be his last, a statement that will end speculation surrounding his future and see him leave a club whom he joined as a nine-year old and for whom he made his first team debut way back in 1997.
"This will be my last season at Liverpool and my last as a professional footballer,” Carragher said.
"I'm making this announcement now because I don't want the manager or the club to be answering questions on my future when I've already decided what I am going to do.
"I will be fully committed between now and the end of the season to doing the very best for Liverpool Football Club, as I've done my entire career since joining aged just nine-years-old.
"It has been a privilege and an honour to represent this great club for as long as I have and I am immensely proud to have done so and thankful for all the support I have had. There are many memories I want to share and people to thank, but now is not the time for that.
"I won't be making any further comment on this decision until the end of the season; all our focus and concentration should be on achieving the best possible finish in the league this season and trying to win the last remaining trophy we are competing in."
Carragher is well known to be a football fanatic and a career in coaching and/or punditry doesn’t seem out of the question, but whatever path he chooses to follow, we wish him all the best.