LONDON: Veteran one-club Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher will retire at the end of the season. He is second only to Ian Callaghan in the club’s all-time appearance table with 723¬†games to his name.

Carrager, who won 38 caps for England after making his debut in 1999, said: “I’m making this announcement because I don’t want the manager to be answering questions when I’ve already decided what I am going to do.”

Now 35, Carragher joined Liverpool’s youth system aged nine and made his first-team debut against Middlesbrough in January 1997. He was a key member of the side who won the UEFA Cup in 2001 and Champions League in 2005. He also won two FA Cups and three League Cups.

He added: “It has been a privilege and an honour to represent this great club for as long as I have.

“I won’t be making any further comment on this decision until the end of the season – all our focus and concentration should be on achieving the best possible finish in the league this season and trying to win the last remaining trophy [Europa League] we are competing in.”

Although the Liverpool statement announcing Carragher’s retirement¬† said he will leave the club at the end of the season, managing director Ian Ayre indicated he may be offered a role with the club.

Ayre said: “Everyone within the game knows that Jamie has been a colossal figure for Liverpool. You don’t have a career spanning three decades at the very top of this game unless you are an exceptional player and he epitomises the values this club was built on and continues to stand for.

“In line with Jamie’s wishes we will wait until the season concludes before giving him the true recognition he deserves. We will also wait until that time to comment further regarding what involvement he may have with the club going forward.”

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