Former England right-back Gary Neville retires from football with immediate effect.
Manchester United defender Gary Neville has chosen to retire at the age of 35 with immediate effect.
The English right-back recently made his 602nd appearance for United, the club he joined as an apprentice in 1991.
Neville made 85 appearances for England and was the first choice right-back for ten years making his debut in 1995, at the age of twenty, in a friendly against Japan under then-manager Terry Venables.
“I have been a Manchester United fan all my life and fulfilled every dream I’ve ever had,” Neville said. “I am disappointed that my playing days are at an end, however it comes to us all, and it’s knowing when that time is and for me that time is now.”
“Red Nev”, as he is affectionately known by United fans, was part of the side that included David Beckham, Nicky Butt, Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes. That side went on to win FA Youth Cup in 1992, but the honours certainly didn’t stop there for Neville.
Eight Premier League titles, three FA Cups, two League Cups and one Champions League medal have all found their way in to Neville’s trophy cabinet, and the former-United captain was certainly reminiscent in his official statement:
“I have played in the most incredible football teams, playing with some of the best players in the world as well as against them and I have been lucky to be a part of the team’s achievements and the club’s great success. There are so many people I want to thank and of course top of that list is Sir Alex Ferguson.”
Neville has been plagued by injuries in recent years and the retirement comes as no surprise given concerns over his fitness. Many will remember Neville for the wrong reasons (his feelings towards Scousers in particular) but it should not be forgotten that Neville has not only been a fine servant to Manchester United but also to English football.
“Gary was the best English right-back of his generation” says Ferguson, who Neville says gave him “so many opportunities and countless support over the last 20 years”.
“He is an example to any young professional; hard-working, loyal and intelligent. As a United fan born and bred, his fantastic career at Old Trafford has cemented his place in the affection of the club’s supporters everywhere”, continues Ferguson.
Neville has always been a hard-working, determined player and his loyalty and commitment to Manchester United will never be forgotten. He is not only a legend of Manchester United, but a legend of English football too.