Clarke Carlisle confirms retirement from professional football

END OF THE ROAD - Clarke Carlisle has called time on his professional career
END OF THE ROAD - Clarke Carlisle has called time on his professional career

Northampton Town defender Clarke Carlisle has retired from professional football with immediate effect.

The 33-year-old had another year left on his contract at Sixfields but the npower League Two play-off final on Saturday will be his last in the sport.

Carlisle cited concerns about his ability to perform physically as his primary reason to call time on his career, which will now move from the playing side to a role in the media.

“It wasn’t an easy decision and the fact of the matter is that my body can’t do what I want it to any more,” he said.

“That’s something you learn to deal with as you get older because you change the way you play and you read the game a bit more.

“But this season my body hasn’t been able to do what I’ve needed it to do and that is a completely different thing.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my entire career and especially this season. To be able to contribute to such a good thing that happened this year has been very special to me.”

The current PFA chairman made 35 appearances for the Cobblers, over two spells, and played a major part in their successful fight against relegation at the back end of last season.

He began the current campaign at York City but returned to Sixfields on loan, making the move permanent in the form of an 18-month contract in January.

Although the centre-back did not enjoy one of his better games in the play-off final itself, he had been a lynchpin of the defence in the games prior to it, helping the team keep three clean sheets on the bounce.