Former Manchester United and England defender Rio Ferdinand has announced his retirement from football following his release from Queens Park Rangers.
Ferdinand's decision to hang up his boots comes in the wake of his wife's sudden death at the beginning of May.
The 36-year-old, who announced his decision live on BT Sport, recently took to Twitter to thank those who wished him well after the passing of cancer sufferer Rebecca, who he has three children with.
Ferdinand labelled former boss Sir Alex Ferguson a 'genius' in a statement on his decision to retire and spoke of his pride of representing his country.
He said: '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.
'Winning trophies over my 13 years at Manchester United, allowed me to achieve everything that I desired in football. From a young child to today, that was all I cared about. None of that would have been possible, without the genius of one man, Sir Alex Ferguson.
'I'd also like to thank and pay tribute to my late wife Rebecca and my family, including my mother and father, for their sacrifices, their encouragement and their advice throughout my career.'
Ferdinand, who made his senior debut at West Ham in May 1996, won six Barclays Premier League titles during his time at Manchester United.
Manchester United forked out £30million on Ferdinand in July 2002 to make him the most expensive British footballer in history at the time of his move from rivals Leeds United.
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