Former Manchester United midfielder Tom Cleverley announced his retirement from soccer at the age of 33, citing lingering injuries.
The ex-England international most recently captained Watford, joining the Championship side on loan from United during the 2009-10 season. Cleverley made 181 appearances, scored 19 times and registered 15 assists during his six-and-a-half-year spell at Watford after joining from Everton on loan for the second time and making the move permanent in 2017.
His last season was plagued by injuries as he missed 29 games for Watford, who finished 11th in the Championship standings. Cleverley underwent surgery on an Achilles injury that had kept him out for an extended period at the beginning of last season before sustaining a thigh injury in February.
“Today, I am announcing my retirement from football as a player. The last year has been immensely difficult trying to overcome the obstacles of injury,” the former Premier League winner said in a statement on Saturday.
“Unfortunately, my body has failed me and just hasn’t got the capacity to perform anymore.”
Cleverley, an academy graduate of United, played 79 games for the Old Trafford outfit before joining Leicester City, Watford, Wigan Athletic, Aston Villa and Everton on loan.
“Special mentions must go to Manchester United… The people and the club that gave me the foundations as a player and person and also the club that made my dreams come true…
“To all those involved with Watford Football Club. I have the privilege of calling this club home… The love you have shown me as a young loanee up to the moment I retire as a grown man I can never repay.”
Watford said, “Some exciting news will soon be announced jointly by the club and Tom.”