Phil Neville announces retirement

Clive Brunskill

We already knew Phil Neville would be leaving Everton at the end of the season, and most guessed that would mean retirement. Now the 36-year-old has confirmed that his playing career is over, although he'd really rather not make a fuss over it:

Three weeks ago, everyone in the world seemed to be retiring. I thought: 'I'm not jumping on this bandwagon.' I just wanted it to be a smooth, quiet turnover.

When I made a statement that I was leaving Everton, everywhere I went I seemed to be getting: 'Oh you've been brilliant.' I didn't like it. I didn't want to be seen as an attention seeker. In my heart, I knew that I wouldn't be playing again – at any level. I just wanted to drift away.

But fusses will be made, and the fullback -- who's quietly had a brilliant career with Manchester United and Everton -- will be praised for at least the next few hours before everyone goes back to talking about transfer rumours. We'll probably see Phil Neville again in coaching or the media, where he'd be following his brother Gary's footsteps in making the world a slightly more listenable place.

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