Former England defender Jamie Carragher will bring the curtain down on his illustrious Liverpool career after revealing on Thursday he will retire from football at the end of this season.
Carragher, who has
made 723 appearances for Liverpool since making his debut in January
1997, issued a statement today on his club’s official website in a bid
to end speculation about his future plans.
He has five months remaining on
his contract and his recent performances away against Arsenal and
Manchester City have prompted discussions about whether he should be
given a new one-year deal.
But the 35-year-old believes the time
is right to end his playing career and he will be leaving Anfield for
good – no talks have taken place about him joining Liverpool’s coaching
staff and none are planned.
a statement Carragher told liverpoolfc.com: 'This will be my last
season at Liverpool and my last as a professional footballer.
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.
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
Roy Evans launched Carragher’s career
when he used him as a substitute during a League Cup quarter-final
against Middlesbrough 16 years ago and, in the time since, he has won
every major honour bar the Barclays Premier League and now sits second
in the club’s all-time appearance list, behind Ian Callaghan.
Though Carragher has played 24 times
this season for Brendan Rodgers, only four of those games have been from
the start in the Premier League and he explained recently that making
that adjustment has been difficult.
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers,
whose side face West Brom at home on Monday, said: 'Jamie has been
absolutely outstanding for me since I joined the club. He has been a
model professional on and off the pitch and has shown an unswerving
commitment to our work.
still have a lot to play for as we look to finish as high up the
Barclays Premier League as possible and continue our progression in the
Europa League, a competition we'd like to win.
'He will have a significant role to play
for us between now and May and I know his commitment and dedication on
the pitch will remain as it has done his entire career at Liverpool.
'Jamie's focus is always on doing what
is best for the team and he has said he doesn't want any distractions
while there are still important matches to be played and won.
Liverpool managing director also heaped praise on the 2005 European champion, adding: 'It
speaks volumes about Jamie's selfless nature that even the manner of
this announcement is putting the team and the club before himself. It's
what he's done throughout his entire career.
'He told me he didn't want the manager
or myself fending off questions regarding his future when he had already
made his decision. Jamie's focus, like ours, is on finishing the season
as strongly as possible.
Former team-mate of Carragher and pundit Jamie Redknapp, described the Liverpool defender as an 'icon of the Premier League'.
always talk about you being a long time retired, but Jamie must know
it's the right time to do it for his family and we have to respect
that,' Redknapp said.
been thinking about this for a while now and his career and when is the
right time to decide. The career that he's had, he's an absolute icon
of the Premier League and for Liverpool and they are going to miss him.
Jamie knows his body. He's the only person who knows what it's like
day-in, day-out, how he recovers after a game. He'll be looking at it
and think the right time is the end of the season and then he will look
at his options.
management, in the media - when he did the World Cup coverage he was
exceptional. He's a real student of the game and watches every single
football match on television so that's something he might want to do. He
has many, many options.