Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher has announced he will retire from football at the end of the season.
Article continues below ...
The 35-year-old, who has made more than 700 senior appearances for the Reds since his debut in January 1997, has decided to call time on his career and end speculation surrounding his future.
Carragher said in a statement: "This will be my last season at Liverpool and my last as a professional footballer.
"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.”
The former England international, who has won several major honours during his time at Anfield, including the Champions League, FA Cup and UEFA Super Cup, is second only behind Ian Callaghan in the club’s all-time appearance table.
Carragher confirmed he will continue until the end of the season and make no further comment on his future until then.
He said: "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.”
Jamie Carragher factfile:
1978: Born Bootle, January 28.
1996: Wins FA Youth Cup with Liverpool.
October – Signs professional contract with the Reds.
1997: January 8 – Makes first-team debut as a substitute in a Coca-Cola Cup tie at Middlesbrough.
January 18 – Marks full Anfield debut with a goal in 3-0 win over Aston Villa.
2001: Wins the treble of FA Cup, Worthington Cup and UEFA Cup.
2005: May – Wins Champions League in famous come-from-behind victory on penalties over AC Milan.
August – Captain’s side to UEFA Super Cup victory over CSKA Moscow.
2006: Named in PFA Team of the Year for season 2005/06.
2007: May – Breaks Ian Callaghan’s all-time Liverpool record with his 90th European appearance for the club in the Champions League semi-final against Chelsea. Signs new four-year contract at age of 29. Announces international retirement.
2008: January 15 – Makes 500th Liverpool appearance in FA Cup third-round replay victory over Luton.
March 11 – Makes 100th European appearance in Champions League win against Inter Milan at San Siro.
2010: Coaxed out of international retirement by England manager Fabio Capello and plays two group games before his involvement in South Africa is cut short by suspension. Retires again after England’s exit.
2011: February 24 – Plays his 137th match in Europe against Sparta Prague to set a new British record.
2012: August 2 – Makes his 700th appearance for Liverpool in a 1-0 Europa League third qualifying round match against FC Gomel.
2013: February 7 – Announces his intention to retire at the end of the 2012/13 season.