Leighton Baines: Everton defender announces retirement from football
Baines capped 30 times by England and represented his country at 2014 World Cup in Brazil
Last Updated: 26/07/20 9:07pm
Everton vice-captain Leighton Baines has announced his retirement from football.
Baines, 35, made his 420th and final appearance for Everton in Sunday's 3-1 defeat to Bournemouth on the last day of the Premier League season, replacing Lucas Digne after 70 minutes.
In a farewell letter to Everton supporters on the club's website, Baines said: "I am incredibly proud to have represented Everton for the past 13 years and my decision to retire has been a difficult one to make.
🔵 420 appearances— Everton (@Everton) July 26, 2020
⚽️ 39 goals
🅰️ 67 assists
Leighton Baines. A true Everton great. 💙
"After speaking to my family, I feel now is the right time to end my playing career but I do so with many great memories at this proud football club.
"As someone from the city, Everton means so much to me and it has been an honour to be part of the club for so long.
"I would like to thank everyone who has supported me during my time at Everton, especially the fans who have been fantastic with me from the moment I signed."
Everton had offered Baines a 12-month contract extension, with manager Carlo Ancelotti keen to keep him.
"Leighton has taken the decision to stop playing," said Ancelotti. "I think every Evertonian has to be grateful to him.
"We would like to keep him in the Club because his knowledge is very important. It's his decision."
The left-back, who was signed from Wigan in 2007, went on to score 39 goals and register 52 assists for Everton over a 13-year spell on Merseyside.
Baines was capped 30 times by England and represented his country at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
In his final season, Baines made nine appearances for Everton, scoring one goal.