Harlequins winger Ugo Monye to retire at end of season
Last Updated: 23/03/15 3:37pm
Harlequins and former England wing Ugo Monye will retire at the end of the season.
Monye, 31, is a one-club man, having been one of the first Academy graduates to play for the first team.
He has been at The Stoop for 13 years, making 237 appearances for Quins and winning the European Challenge Cup in 2004 and 2011, the 2012 Aviva Premiership crown and the 2013 LV= Cup.
He played for England 14 times and in 2009 toured with the British and Irish Lions to South Africa, scoring a famous interception try in the third Test victory.
I have had an unbelievable 13 years here at Quins and look back on my career with no regrets.
He sealed his place in the affections of Harlequins fans by rejecting the chance to join a top French club and double his wages in order to stay with his boyhood team.
Once his playing career ends in the summer, he will stay at The Stoop in an as-yet undecided capacity.
The Londoner told the club’s website: “It is a decision that I have been thinking about for a long time and one that I haven’t taken lightly. I have had an unbelievable 13 years here at Quins and look back on my career with no regrets.
“I can honestly say that the one thing I am most proud of is that I have been a one-club man, in a game that is ever changing and I am excited to be staying on at the club after my retirement in a different capacity.
“To go onto play for the club I supported as a boy and to achieve my childhood dream of following in the footsteps of some of the sport’s greatest players like Jason Leonard, Will Greenwood and Zinzan Brooke and to wear the Harlequins jersey has been amazing.
“I would like to thank the club, and in particular the coaches and all the back room staff, for giving me this opportunity and standing by me. Harlequins helped develop me as a rugby player and a person – and I truly believe that I have only been able to achieve what I have done because of the great club I am at.
“Playing alongside some of my best mates has given me some of the greatest experiences of my life. It has been amazing playing, winning and even losing alongside some of the best players and friends.
“I am excited about the future of these players and look forward to seeing the development of a number of the Academy players and guys who are now breaking into the first team. I can’t wait to watch their progress on the professional scene.
“Last but not least I have to pay tribute to all the supporters who accepted me as a schoolboy and have stood by me through all the good and bad times. They have cheered for me and it has no doubt made me the proud Harlequin I am today, and will always be.”
Harlequins Director of Rugby Conor O’Shea said: “All involved with Harlequins will miss Ugo once he retires but I know he will be around the club in some capacity for many years to come.
“In my time here two things stick out to show his unwavering commitment and professionalism to the only club he has ever played for. The first was when he was offered twice the money we were offering to join a top French club but he turned it down to be with the club he always dreamt of playing for.
He will be missed but he will always be one of the true greats of this club, and also one of the great ambassadors of the game.
Conor O'Shea on Ugo Monye
“My second memory will be how he got back on the field for our Aviva Premiership title win in 2012. He tore his hamstring but within four weeks and against all medical expectation he got himself back on the pitch and played the full eighty minutes.
"To those who knew him and what he had gone through to get on the pitch, they will know he only had one leg fully right but nothing was keeping him out, and Ugo's presence alone on a pitch is enough in how he motivates and inspires.
“He will be missed but he will always be one of the true greats of this club, and also one of the great ambassadors of the game."