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Michael Dawson: Former Tottenham, Nottingham Forest and Hull defender announces retirement

Former England centre-back Dawson made more than 570 first-team appearances over the course of career, including 324 games for Tottenham where he was part of the squad that won the 2008 League Cup; Dawson has been without a club since leaving Nottingham Forest at end of last season

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Former Tottenham and Nottingham Forest defender Michael Dawson has retired from football after 20 years in the game

Former Nottingham Forest, Tottenham and Hull defender Michael Dawson has announced his retirement.

Dawson 37, has been without a club since leaving Forest at the end of last season.

The former England centre-back made more than 570 first-team appearances over the course of his career, including 324 games for Tottenham where he was part of the squad that won the League Cup in 2008.

"After 20 incredible seasons I have decided that now is the right time for me to retire from playing professional football," said Dawson, in a statement released on Friday.

"It's been an amazing journey and I've loved every minute, creating memories that will be with me forever and I feel lucky to have experienced so many unforgettable moments throughout my career.

"Among the highs, of which there are just too many to mention them all, I've had the privilege of captaining Tottenham Hotspur, Nottingham Forest and Hull City and absolutely loved my time at all three of those great clubs."

Dawson made four senior international appearances and was included in the 2010 World Cup squad after Rio Ferdinand was ruled out of the tournament through injury.

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"Being given the honour of playing for England fulfilled a childhood dream and I was always immensely proud to represent my country," he added.

Dawson began his career at Forest in 2001 and spent three-and-a-half seasons at the City Ground before moving to Tottenham.

He made 324 appearances for the north London club during a nine-year stay before he went on to make 122 league appearances for Hull after arriving in 2014.

Dawson rejoined fellow Championship club Nottingham Forest, where he came through the academy system, in May 2018 but injuries limited him as he missed the entirety of last season

"I'd like to thank all of my former team-mates, managers and staff at Spurs, Forest, Hull and England. Thank you to the fans at all of the teams I played with for welcoming me as one of your own and for the fantastic support I've always received.

Image: Dawson enjoyed spells at Tottenham, Nottingham Forest and Hull during his playing career

"I've always felt a special bond with the supporters and I know that will last a lifetime. It was a privilege to represent you.

"Most importantly thank you to my family. To my wife Anna, my two amazing children, my wonderful Mum and Dad who sacrificed so much to help me achieve all my goals and to my two brothers.

"Thank you all for always believing in me and for giving me the opportunity to live my dream. I couldn't have done it without you."

Dawson will join Jeff Stelling and the Soccer Saturday team as a pundit and also as a regular match analyst for the Premier League and EFL.

He said: "Having now retired I am excited about the future and am looking forward to working with the fantastic team at Sky Sports during the upcoming season as well as becoming an ambassador for my beloved Tottenham Hotspur."

"Even though I won't be playing on the pitch anymore, I will remain as close as ever to the game I love. Thanks for the support and here's to a great new season."

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