Liverpool's Jamie Carragher said yesterday that he will hang up his boots at the end of the season.
The 35 year old, who has made more than 700 senior appearances for the club since his debut in January 1997, has decided to call time on his career and end speculation surrounding his future.
Carragher - a one-club man -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 [Brendan Rodgers] 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.
The defender 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."
Carragher joined Liverpool as a youth before securing his first professional contract in 1996 and went on to win 38 England caps.
His finest achievements at Liverpool were the 2001 treble of the League Cup, the FA Cup and the Uefa Cup, and the 2005 Champions League success, which saw the club claim their fifth European Cup.
Carragher's friend and former Liverpool teammate Michael Owen predicted that the centre-back still had a future in the game.
"What a servant Carra has been for Liverpool," Owen wrote on Twitter. "A rare breed and it's been a privilege to play alongside, room with and be big mates with one of football's real men. I doubt we have heard the last of him. He has too much to offer the game to be away for long!"
Another former Anfield colleague, Robbie Fowler, tweeted: "Sorry to hear the news on carra, his quotes regarding retirement tell you everything about the man... An absolute legend of a player."
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