Thomas retires from rugby
Curtain comes down on playing career of Welsh legend
Last Updated: 25/10/11 3:37pm
Wales dual-code international rugby player Gareth Thomas has announced his retirement from all forms of rugby with immediate effect.
Emanuele Palladino from Thomas' management company Distinct said: "We can confirm that Gareth Thomas is officially retiring from both international and club rugby with immediate effect.
"This marks the end of what has been a remarkable career for a remarkable person.
"If you can't give 100 percent to rugby then you can't do it justice. This is a sad day, but I know that my time has come to an end as a player. My passion for the amazing game will never end or leave me however."
Gareth Thomas Quotes of the week
"Gareth hopes that through his achievements both on and off the field he has left a lasting legacy within the game."
Thomas added: "I have listened and discussed this decision with many of my family and close friends. My mind has told me that the time to retire is now.
"If you can't give 100 percent to rugby then you can't do it justice. This is a sad day, but I know that my time has come to an end as a player. My passion for the amazing game will never end or leave me however.
"I do not know what lies ahead, but I feel the challenge of something different excites me more than another year of rugby.
"I would like to thank everyone I have been involved with in the sport. I could not have achieved it without any of them. I have great memories and great friends that I will keep for the rest of my life.
"I leave knowing I have done everything in my power to be the best person and player I could have ever been. And finally, I thank my parents for all their support and help throughout my career.
Thomas, nicknamed "Alfie", was among a host of players left without a club when Crusaders withdrew from Super League in July but he was expected to link up with assistant coach Iestyn Harris at Wigan, although there was never any official confirmation from the Warriors.
Wales coach Harris - himself a dual-code internatonal - helped Thomas make the switch to league after playing alongside him in the 15-man game and had named him in his 24-strong Four Nations squad.
Harris said : "I've worked with Gareth for just under two years and the work and desire that he put into his transition from Union to League was a testament to his supreme professionalism.
"Even though he switched at a mature age his enthusiasm for information made his switch a huge success.
"Gareth's honesty and reasoning behind his decision were unselfish, it would have been easy for him to play the Wales internationals for his personal gain but he didn't want to take an opportunity off somebody else in our squad.
"I'm sure Alfie will be a huge success in whatever comes next in his life's journey, he certainly has the best wishes of myself and everybody involved in Wales Rugby League."