Coral Breaking News: Rio Ferdinand announces retirement from football

Rio Ferdinand has announced his retirement from football one month after the death of wife Rebecca following his release from QPR. In a statement the player said it was “the right time” to retire from “the game I love”.

Having made 81 caps for England, the 36-year-old said he would look back on this “with immense pride”.

“After 18 years as a professional footballer, I now feel it’s the right time for me to retire from the game that I love” Ferdinand continued.

“As a 12-year-old boy, kicking around a football on the Friary Estate in Peckham, I never dreamed that I would play for my boyhood club West Ham, captain Leeds United, win the Champions League with Manchester United, or re-join my first manager Harry Redknapp at Queens Park Rangers.

“I will always regard the 81 times that I played for England with immense pride. These are all treasured memories that will last a lifetime.”

The former West Ham, Leeds and Manchester United player had a trophy-laden career, though won all of his honours while at the Red Devils, and can count six Premier League titles, one FA Cup, three Football League Cups, one Champions League medal, one UEFA Super Cup and a World Club Cup among his collection.

He has also been in the PFA Premier League Team of the Year six times, most recently for the 2012/13 season. He owes his entry into professional football to ex-England colleague Frank Lampard’s father, also called Frank, having been scouted by him for West Ham.

In November 2000, he made a switch to Leeds for a then record British transfer fee at £18m, also becoming the world’s most expensive defender. He was involved in the club’s successful Champions League run that saw the West Yorkshire club reach the semi-finals in 2000, scoring in the quarter final win over Deportivo La Coruna.