Former Southampton and Liverpool striker Rickie Lambert has announced his retirement from football at the age of 35.
Lambert, who made his name in English football's lower leagues with Stockport County, Rochdale and Bristol Rovers, last played for Cardiff City in the Championship last season and had been without a club since leaving the Welsh side at the end of the campaign in June.
A Lambert statement, "I feel lucky to have been involved in this sport for as long as I have. I have had some ups and downs in my career but to have represented clubs like Southampton, Liverpool and playing for my Country in a World Cup were beyond my wildest dreams.
"Playing and scoring for England is probably my proudest professional moment and I will look back at every aspect of how I got there with fond memories," he added.
It was at Southampton, for whom Lambert first played in League One in 2009, that he made the biggest impact of his career. His goals helped the Saints bounce back from the third tier and secure back-to-back promotions to reach the Premier League in 2012.
Lambert then scored 15 goals in his first ever season of top flight football to keep Southampton out of relegation trouble and a further 12 the following campaign as they finished in the top half.
"I would like to thank the fans of all of the clubs I played for but especially at Southampton where I enjoyed my best years as a footballer and had a special relationship with everyone connected to the club," he explained.
Lambert later joined boyhood club Liverpool, where he spent just a single season, and also played briefly in the Premier League for West Bromwich Albion.
"Thank you to all the players I have played with and managers I have played for throughout my career, it was an honour to work with you all. Thank you to my family and friends who have always been there for me, especially my gorgeous wife Amy," he said.
"I will be taking a break for a while to spend some quality time with my family just being a husband and father. In the future I hope to give back as best I can to the game that has given me so much."