May 11, 2018 / 12:47 PM / 15 days ago

Swansea City midfielder Britton announces retirement

(Reuters) - Swansea City midfielder Leon Britton will retire from football at the end of the season after spending 15 years across two spells with the Welsh club.

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - FA Cup Fifth Round Replay - Swansea City vs Sheffield Wednesday - Liberty Stadium, Swansea, Britain - February 27, 2018 Swansea City's Leon Britton in action with Sheffield Wednesday's David Jones Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Boyers

The 35-year-old made 536 appearances since initially moving from West Ham United in 2002 on a one-month loan.

Britton played a crucial role in Swansea avoiding relegation from the Football League and then winning three promotions to the top-flight, thus becoming one of the few players ever to represent his side in all four of the English divisions.

He featured in the team that won the 2013 League Cup, Swansea’s first major honour, and was part of their Europa League adventure the following season.

“I have decided that this year will be my last as a Swans player,” Britton said in a statement on the club website.

“It’s a sad day obviously, but this season has been very difficult for me. I have had a lot of niggling injuries and I haven’t played a lot when I have been fit.

“I have pushed my body through a lot, playing with injuries and injections and what have you over the years, and I think now is the right time.”

Britton has made four Premier League appearances this season and since the arrival of manager Carlos Carvalhal in December has featured just once, in an FA Cup win over Sheffield Wednesday.

Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Ian Chadband

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