Neville calls it a day

United stalwart and former England international hangs up boots

By Elliot Ball - follow me on Twitter @ballell   Last updated: 3rd February 2011   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Gary was the best English right-back of his generation, he is an example to any young professional.

Sir Alex Ferguson
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Manchester United have confirmed defender Gary Neville has announced his retirement from football.

The former England right-back, who made over 600 appearances for the Red Devils, has hung up his boots with immediate effect.

Neville has not played for United since the New Year's Day victory over West Bromwich Albion, when he was fortunate not to be dismissed for a professional foul on Graham Dorrans.

It was the 35-year-old's 602nd appearance for the Red Devils - the only club he ever played for.

Neville, who is England's most decorated right back with 85 caps, said: "I have been a Manchester United fan all my life and fulfilled every dream I've ever had.

"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.

Privilege

"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.

"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 along side. The experiences we've shared will be with me for the rest of my life.

"Also 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."

Example

It will be interesting to see what direction Neville's life now takes after being touted as a potential coach at United - the defender was mentioned as a possible successor to reserve team boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who has returned to Norway to take charge at Molde.

And Ferguson waxed lyrical on the former Old Trafford stalwart, saying: "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 which is the legacy he leaves every young player at Manchester United."

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Comments (128)

Ryan Ashurst (Plymouth Argyle fan) says...

A great serviceman to football as a whole. A man who never backed out of a challenge, and you never heard him fighting for more wages. You will be missed but not forgotten. Thanks for the memories.

Posted 13:06 3rd February 2011

Ovais Rizvi (Manchester United fan) says...

A true legend in the game, Arguably one of the best RB in the modern game (when in his peak). His partnership with Beckham on the right flank was amazing, something he hardly got praised for. Wish you all the best in the future Gaz!

Posted 13:00 3rd February 2011

Les Fitzgerald (Chelsea fan) says...

I think gary neville was probably the most under rated defender in the premiership since he came on the scene.Apart from his moment of madness against liverpool I thought he was an excellent professional and he always played well,it was a shame his england career finished too early because I think he could of made well over 100 caps.Good luck to Neville in the future

Posted 12:52 3rd February 2011

Ronald Muhinda (Manchester United fan) says...

Gary, Fantastic Carrier, Memorable performances you have had. Your dreams at the "Theatre of Dreams" have been fulfilled. We're United in saluting you. Truth is Gary U're unforgetttable. United is forever indebted to you

Posted 12:35 3rd February 2011

Adrian Page (Charlton Athletic fan) says...

I still find it unbelievable that people can blame either neville or Robinson for that goal against croatia, it was a perfectly weighted pass rolling on the floor which robinson had every right to kick first time it's just hit a bobble at the most unfortunate time. As for Neville not the most talented player ever but his determination, will to win and attitude made hime easily Englands best right back of the last 20 years, the premierships best right back and arguably the best right back in the world of the last 20 years

Posted 12:26 3rd February 2011

Tina Holmes (Manchester United fan) says...

What a sad day for United and football. Your talent, passion and loyalty are unsurpassed. Sir Alex and the fans have the greatest respect for you and you will be sadly missed. Good luck for the future, hope it's with United you RED DEVIL.

Posted 12:23 3rd February 2011

Marc Skinner (Newcastle United fan) says...

Your right James Smith he deserves the utmost respect from all fans and fellow pro's alike no matter what team you follow football will be a worse place without him good luck with what ever you do Gary. and to the rest of the pro football players holding our glorious game to ransom remember what loyalty is just look at Gary's career

Posted 12:12 3rd February 2011

Chris Young says...

he was pathetic, why is everyone saying he was good. the man only retired because he couldnt keep up with anyone and had no ability. rubbish attitude, terrible player

Posted 11:52 3rd February 2011

Kurt Tyrrell (Manchester United fan) says...

true legend he is has been the best RB in the prem with his famous celerbratios all the best gary

Posted 10:42 3rd February 2011

Sunil Inteti (Manchester United fan) says...

Will miss you Gary. That right back position will seem strange for some time to come. You are a true legend and great professional.

Posted 10:14 3rd February 2011

Liam O donnell (Manchester United fan) says...

What a legend..himself and becham had great understanding down the right flank..manchester united through and through..good time to retire i think..best of luck gary

Posted 09:59 3rd February 2011

Ben Thorne (Burnley fan) says...

as a footballer hes everything you wanted in a right back; consitant, disiplined, passion, great tackler, and when he was attacking had a great cross awell. his passion for his teams (utd & england) got him into trouble some times, but it showed he cared! like its already been said in previous comments, they only reason people (scousers) hated him so was due to the fact he was so good at his job. all the best nev, i hope to see as a manager!

Posted 09:15 3rd February 2011

Mav Tawas (Manchester United fan) says...

Gary wish you all the best.I hope all these young lads will follow your footsteps.Good lucky you will be missed.

Posted 09:12 3rd February 2011

Finbar Dunne (Manchester United fan) says...

Good luck to a true professional of the game. Every time he put a united shirt on you could see the pride in his eyes. All the best for the future you will be missed.

Posted 09:12 3rd February 2011

Billy White (Manchester United fan) says...

A true legend of the game! Me and my brother were discussing the other night if we could clone any united player past or present who would it be.... best, law, charlton, schmeichel, giggs, beckham, cantona? We decided it had the legend gary neville. The reason another 15+ years winding up the scousers, Priceless!! All the best for the future!!!!!!!

Posted 08:59 3rd February 2011

James Smith (Manchester United fan) says...

Love him or hate him - you cannot deny him his record with United or England. Love him or hate him - you cannot deny him respect. Love him or hate him - how most of you wish that you had 11 players with the passion, determination, LOYALTY and sheer bloodymindedness to play your heart out for your club and country. Respect please to Gary Neville. He deserves it!!

Posted 08:58 3rd February 2011

Lyndon Taylor (Manchester United fan) says...

You have always been an inspairation and lead by example you wore your heart on your sleeve and never let club or country down. Good luck with whatever you decide to do with your future i hope it involves staying in some capacity at O.T. as you are Man Utd through and through. Future generations need to know how special it is represent the greatest club in the world and standards required.

Posted 08:45 3rd February 2011

Paul Bolland (Manchester United fan) says...

today is a sad day. no one has gotten up so many noses of so many different clubs - liverpool, newcastle, arsenal, leeds, chelsea, and the wannabes up the road. red nev, you are a true legend and an all time united great - the only people who wil disagree will be the fans from those clubs mentioned above. you've been around along time, long enough to pass that infectious desire to win onto the next generation. this is the end of an era, but there is a new one about to begin, and the colour is red.

Posted 08:38 3rd February 2011

Simon M (Manchester United fan) says...

Good to see even some Liverpool supports giving him some acknowledgement for his achievements. Love him or loath him you cannot dispute he was a quality player and won everything. To be honest this isnt a surprise as his last few performance this year showed he was struggling. Had in not been for his injuries in recent years I am sure he would have another season or so in him. I hope he stays on in some capacity as his experinece and commitment to United would be invaluable. Nice one Gary and good luck in the future. Bet you will miss going to Anfield!

Posted 08:37 3rd February 2011

Shaun Taper (Manchester United fan) says...

thanks for all the memories what a role model player for all young up and coming players so what if liverpool fans hate ya we adore you

Posted 08:22 3rd February 2011

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