Swansea City midfielder Leon Britton has announced his retirement from professional football.
The 35-year-old will go down as a Swans legend, having made 536 appearances for the club since joining from West Ham – initially on a one-month loan – in 2002.
The Swans were struggling at the bottom of the League Two table at the time and little would anybody know that it would mark the start of a 15-year (albeit over two spells) Swansea career for the youngster.
Britton was part of the Swansea squad that won the club’s first ever major honour, lifting the League Cup in 2013.
More recently, with his playing career stagnating due to a succession of minor injuries, Britton got a very brief taste of management as he took caretaker charge for two Swansea games earlier this season, before the arrival of current boss Carlos Carvalhal.
The Englishman’s contract expires this season and contains an appearance-based extension clause which he has failed to trigger having only made one appearance since Carvalhal’s arrival.
Britton is said to have been offered a coaching role but is currently considering options.
Speaking after the announcement of his retirement, Britton said: “Calling it a day makes this a strange day for me. Football is all I have known and when I was a kid, playing football was all I wanted to do.
“I have been very fortunate to be able to play professionally for as long as I have. It is going to be strange for me, especially when the team come back for pre-season in July.
“But I have to look back and say I have been very fortunate to have had the career I’ve had. To play as long as I have done and to have been on the journey I have with Swansea has been a privilege. I count myself very lucky to have the career I have had.”