Tottenham Hotspur have confirmed that captain Ledley King has called time on his career with immediate effect.
A statement on the Spurs’ website informed fans that injury had led the 31-year-old to decide the time was right to retire.
The former England international’s contract expired this summer and talks over a new deal were reportedly not likely to be resolved.
King will now take up an ambassadorial role with the club, becoming involved in the club’s local community work and “the ongoing regeneration of the Tottenham area”, according to chairman Daniel Levy.
“Ledley has made a magnificent contribution to this Club - as a wonderful player, Captain and ambassador,” read Levy’s statement.
“It has been well documented how he has battled against injury over the years and it is testament to the character of the man how he managed to sustain such high standards of performance on the pitch, while providing such fine leadership.”
King spoke of his special connection to the club where he spent the entirety of his career and expressed disappointment at being forced into a retirement at such an early age.
“I have been here since I was a boy, I have always considered it my Club and have always found it hard to imagine wearing the shirt of another team,” he said.
“I know that being a one-club man is a rarity these days, but I have always enjoyed being part of the set-up here and the challenge of putting this Club up with the elite where it should be.
“I would like to say thank you to everyone at the Club and to the fans. I have missed a lot of football over the years, but the Spurs fans have always been patient and incredibly supportive with me during difficult periods.
“Sadly my injuries and inability to train have now finally brought an end to my career.”
King suffered form chronic knee problems for much of his career and by last season was rarely training properly between games, instead undergoing a specialised routine designed to keep pressure off his troublesome joints.
Tottenham signing Ajax defender Jan Vertonghen was one of the biggest hints yet that King may not be returning to the field at White Hart Lane.