On this day in 2011: Gary Neville announces retirement from football

Manchester United defender Gary Neville announced his retirement from professional football on this day in 2011.

Neville had made 602 appearances for United in a 19-year senior career and won 85 England caps.

“I have been a Manchester United fan all my life and fulfilled every dream I’ve ever had,” said Neville, who was 35 at the time.

Soccer – UEFA Champions League – Quarter Final – Second Leg – Manchester United v AS Roma – Old Trafford
Gary Neville captained Manchester United in his one-club career and played over 600 games for the Red Devils (Martin Rickett/PA)

“I am disappointed that my playing days are at an end. However, it comes to us all and it’s knowing when that time is and for me that time is now.

“I have played in the most incredible football teams, playing with some of the best players in the world as well as against them.

“I have been lucky to be a part of the team’s achievements and the club’s great success.”

Neville was part of a side including David Beckham, Nicky Butt, Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes which won the FA Youth Cup in May 1992.

Soccer – Barclays Premier League – Manchester United v Arsenal – Old Trafford
Gary Neville (centre) lifts the Premier League trophy during his Manchester United career (Nick Potts/PA)

He made his senior United debut in a UEFA Cup tie against Torpedo Moscow the following September.

Neville went on to become a first-team regular at Old Trafford during a golden era for the club, winning the Champions League, eight Premier League trophies, three FA Cups and two League Cups in his time at United.

The Bury-born player was appointed United captain in 2005 and became England’s most-capped right-back, playing under five different coaches.

United manager Sir Alex Ferguson said: “Gary was the best English right-back of his generation.

England v Wales – UEFA Euro 2016 – Group B – Stade Felix Bollaert-Delelis
Gary Neville (right) was on the England coaching staff at Euro 2016 (John Walton/PA)

“He is an example to any young professional; hard-working, loyal and intelligent.

“As a United fan born and bred, his fantastic career at Old Trafford has cemented his place in the affection of the club’s supporters everywhere.”

Neville had a four-year spell on the England coaching staff between 2012 and 2016 but his spell in charge of LaLiga club Valencia lasted less than four months.

He is now a successful businessman and television pundit and a co-owner of League Two club Salford.