Home » Featured, Latest » Gary Neville announces his retirement

Manchester United right back Gary Neville has retired with immediate effect following the news that he would be left out of Manchester United’s Champions League squad for the knockout stages.

Neville, 35, signed for Manchester United in 1991 and played 602 games for the club. This season Neville has had a peripheral role and has made only four appearances.

“I have been a Manchester United fan all my life and fulfilled every dream I’ve ever had,” Neville said in a statement on United’s website. “Obviously 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.

“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 have been 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]. He has given me so many opportunities and countless support over the last 20 years – he is truly one of the greatest managers – and I have to thank him for that.”

“There have also been so many great players that I have had the privilege to train and play alongside. The experiences we’ve shared will be with me for the rest of my life. Also, I’d like to thank all the coaches I have played under from youth level right through to now, who have guided me through my playing days.

“And finally, the fans, who have always shown me unbelievable support. They know how special they are to me and this club.

“I am looking forward to new experiences and the club will always be a part of my life going forward. However, the most important thing now is for the club to continue with the success that is synonymous with Manchester United and I will be supporting them all the way, as a fan.”

United manager Sir Alex Ferguson returned the compliments from Neville, and said: “Gary was the best English right back of his generation. 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.

“His impact on the club in general has been huge; his presence in the dressing room and leadership qualities have been an asset to me as a manager. All the young players who have sought his advice on many matters, particularly on contract issues owe him a great debt.

“As a young boy he had the will and determination to succeed as a footballer and that character remained with him throughout his career. That’s the legacy he leaves every young player at Manchester United.”

United chief executive David Gill said: “Gary has been a great servant to the club and we thank him for his loyalty and his contribution to the tremendous success we have enjoyed in his playing time here. I know from my many dealings with him over the years that he’s always had the club’s best interests at heart. So, while this illustrious chapter in his career has finished, his experience, commitment and energy will ensure he will continue to play a part in the life of the club, whether on the coaching or the commercial side.”

Neville is one of United’s most decorated players of all time, with eight Premier League titles, three FA cup medals and two triumphs in the Champions League to his name. He also played for England from 1995 until 2007. His 85 caps make him the most capped English right back of all time, and the 11th most capped player in England’s history.

1975: Born February 18 in Bury.

1992: Won FA Youth Cup with Manchester United in a two-legged final against Crystal Palace. The United team also included David Beckham, Nicky Butt, Ryan Giggs, Keith Gillespie, Robbie Savage and Paul Scholes. Makes first-team debut for United in the Uefa Cup against Torpedo Moscow.

1995: Played in FA Cup final against Everton, which United lost 1-0. Made England debut against Japan at age of 20 in Umbro tournament at Wembley on June 3. England won 2-1.

1996: Part of United’s double-winning squad. Established himself as regular in England team at Euro 96 but missed semi-final defeat by Germany at Wembley.

1997: Scored first United goal in a 3-3 draw with Middlesbrough.

1998: Regular in Glenn Hoddle’s England side for France 98, including in penalty shoot-out defeat by Argentina.

1999: Part of United’s treble-winning campaign, making 54 appearances.

2000: Won his fourth championship medal and makes 250th first-team appearance.

2001: Won fifth Premiership title and signed new six-year deal with United worth £11million.

2002: Made 50th England appearance in a 1-1 draw against Holland. April: Broke metatarsal bone in foot during first half of United’s Champions League semi-final first leg with Bayer Leverkusen at Old Trafford. The injury eventually ruled him out of the World Cup. Rejected a testimonial to mark his 10 years at Old Trafford, saying the game would be more fitting at the end of his career.

2003: Won his sixth Premiership winner’s medal.

2004: Won the FA Cup for the third time as United beat Millwall 3-0 in Cardiff. Ever-present member of the England Euro 2004 squad beaten in the quarter-finals by hosts Portugal. Signed a new contract to extend his stay at Old Trafford by four years.

2005: Named new United captain by Sir Alex Ferguson following the departure of Roy Keane.

2006: Fined £5,000 and warned about his future conduct by the FA after his wild celebrations at Rio Ferdinand’s injury-time winner against Liverpool at Old Trafford the previous month. Accused FA of wanting robots for footballers. Also lifted his first trophy as skipper after a 4-0 Carling Cup triumph over Wigan.

2007: United won Premier League title, with Neville making 24 appearances in the league. Injury problems meant Neville did not make a league appearance in the 2007-08 title-winning season.

2008: Not named in the squad for the Champions League final, which United won with a penalty shoot-out victory over Chelsea in Moscow.

2009: Signed one-year contract extension in February to keep him at United until 2010.

2009: Handed a surprise recall to the England squad in May for World Cup qualifiers against Kazakhstan and Andorra but did not play. A month eariler, he signed a new one-year contract.

2011: On February 2, he announced his retirement from football having made 602 appearances for United.

Source: Telegraph

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