February 03, 2011

United legend Gary Neville retires from football with immediate effect

Gary Neville has retired from football after almost 20 years playing at Manchester United.

Neville joined United in 1991 and demonstrated his loyalty to the club and the manager by seeing out his career at Old Trafford.

He came through the ranks with the famed golden generation consisting of Ryan Giggs, David Beckham, Nicky Butt and Paul Scholes, and was famously part of the 1992 FA Cup Youth trophy winning team.

Neville, a one club man, made 602 appearances for United, scoring seven goals, and also won 85 England caps.

"I have been a Manchester United fan all my life and fulfilled every dream I've ever had," Neville said in a United statement.

"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."

Neville paid tribute to United boss Sir Alex Ferguson, the only club manager he has worked under.

"There are so many people I want to thank and, of course, top of that list is Sir Alex. 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."

Ferguson added: "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."