Micah Richards: Former Manchester City, Aston Villa and England defender retires at 31
Last Updated: 26/07/19 2:31pm
Former England, Manchester City and Aston Villa defender Micah Richards has announced his retirement at the age of 31.
He has succumbed to a long-term knee injury that has seen him fail to play a single minute since Villa's 1-1 draw with Wolves in October 2016.
Richards says he will now combine his business interests with working with City on an ad hoc basis off the field.
He told City's website: "It's not the ideal way to finish a career. I'd much rather have said goodbye in the way Vinny [Kompany] did in his last few games for City but it wasn't to be.
"It has been an unequal battle with injury ever since I left City. I finish my playing days happy that I reached the level that I did.
"I won the Premier League and the FA Cup, played for England and represented Great Britain at an Olympic Games.
"I consider myself blessed and I am looking forward to renewing my many friendships at City. It is a special place that looks after its own.
"Whether I eventually take coaching badges and stay on that side of the game may be a decision for another time."
Richards made his debut for City as a 17-year-old against Arsenal in October 2005 and went on to make his first appearance for his country just 13 months later.
Richards made 246 appearances for City, winning two Premier League titles, the FA Cup and the League Cup, before joining Villa in 2015.
He will make one final appearance for City when he takes part in Kompany's testimonial at the Etihad in September.