3 Feb 2011

Gary Neville retires from football

9:07 am on 3 February 2011

Long-serving Manchester United right back and former England international Gary Neville has announced his immediate retirement from football.

The 35-year-old spent his entire career at United, playing over 600 matches for the Old Trafford club and helping them win a raft of trophies including the Champions League and eight Premier League titles.

Neville broke into the United first team in 1992 and was part of a renowned group of players who came through the club's youth scheme including his younger brother Phil, Ryan Giggs, David Beckham, Paul Scholes and Nicky Butt.

They formed the basis of the team built by manager Alex Ferguson which dominated English soccer in the 1990s, culminating in the treble-winning season of 1999.

Phil Neville, Beckham and Butt left United but Gary Neville, Giggs and Scholes remained and Ferguson created another team who won the Champions League again in 2008.

Born locally, he was known as "Red Nev" and frequently displayed his passion for his club, notably celebrating a goal against United's arch-rivals Liverpool in 2006 with a wild badge-clenching celebration which earned him a fine for improper conduct.

He was appointed United club captain in 2005 and won 85 England caps between 1995 and 2007, helping the national team reach the 1996 European Championship semi-finals.

The end of Neville's career was blighted by injuries and he struggled to cope with the pace of the Premier League in the few matches he played this season.

His final appearance was against West Bromwich Albion in January when he joined an exclusive group of players to reach 400 Premier League appearances.