Liverpool's Jamie Carragher to Retire at Season's End

Tim DanielsFeatured ColumnistFebruary 7, 2013

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - AUGUST 23:  Jamie Carragher of Liverpool applauds the fans during the Hearts v Liverpool UEFA Europa League play-off round match at Tynecastle Stadium, Edinburgh on August 23, 2012 in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Longtime Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher announced he will retire after the season, the club's official site reports. He joined the Reds' youth program in 1990 and spent his entire career at Anfield. 

The 35-year-old former England international released a statement as part of his announcement in which he speaks glowingly about his time with Liverpool.

"I will be fully committed between now and the end of the season to doing the very best for Liverpool Football Club, as I've done my entire career since joining aged just nine-years-old.

"It has been a privilege and an honour to represent this great club for as long as I have and I am immensely proud to have done so and thankful for all the support I have had. There are many memories I want to share and people to thank, but now is not the time for that."

Carragher made his first-team debut for Liverpool in early 1997 and never looked back. He's been a stalwart for the Reds for nearly two decades, making more than 700 appearances across all competitions in various roles across the back line.

In an era where high-profile transfers dominate the headlines every summer, it's become increasingly rare to see a player that's had as much success as Carragher spend his entire career with one club. It will be weird to see a Reds squad without him.

The defender, who also spent some time as a defensive midfielder earlier in his career, was never the most flashy player on the pitch. But he was often the most reliable, and that explains how he's been able to hold down a spot with Liverpool for so long.

That's held true to this day. Although Carragher has probably lost a step or two since his prime, he's made up for it with experience and veteran savvy. He's made 24 appearances during the current campaign, and should maintain his role until it ends.

He, along with captain Steven Gerrard, have seen a lot of changes during their extended careers with the Reds. But they have provided a solid base during the entire time, and has gained the admiration of Liverpool supporters because of that.

Carragher will walk away with the second-most appearances in club history behind only Ian Callaghan.