Former Liverpool defender and England international announces retirement aged 29

Jon Flanagan has retired from football after spells with Liverpool, Burnley, Bolton and Rangers.

<p>Jon Flanagan of Liverpool applauds the fans at the end of the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Swansea City at Anfield on February 23, 2014 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)</p>

Jon Flanagan of Liverpool applauds the fans at the end of the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Swansea City at Anfield on February 23, 2014 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

Former Liverpool defender Jon Flanagan has announced his retirement from football.

The right-back has brought the curtain down on his career aged 29.

Flanagan is a product of the Reds’s academy and made 51 appearances in total.

He was a mainstay in the Liverpool team that finished runners-up in the Premier League in 2013-14 before being put on standby for England’s World Cup squad that summer.

Flanagan won his one and only England cap against Ecuador in a friendly before the tournament took place.

But Flanagan never fully bounced back from a serious knee injury he sustained in pre-season ahead of 2014-15. He had loan spells at Burnley and Bolton before leaving for Rangers in 2018 after Steven Gerrard took the reins as manager.

However, Flanagan didn’t make much of an impact at Ibrox and left two years later.

He had spells with Belgian outfit Charleroi and Danish side HB Køge - managed by his old Liverpool team-mate Daniel Agger.

But due to another knee injury, Flanagan has decided to retire.

In a post on Twitter, he said: “Unfortunately after careful consideration I have made the toughest decision I’ve ever had to make: to retire from professional football,” Flanagan wrote on Instagram.

“The last 14 months I have tried everything possible to recover from my most recent knee surgery.

“However, ultimately my long-term health has to come first, so following medical advice the right thing for me to do now is retire from the game.

“My dream as a boy was to grow up and play football for a living and today I’m so proud to say I lived that dream.

“Not only playing and captaining my boyhood club Liverpool but also making an appearance for my country, those memories created will last a lifetime and I’m so grateful that I have had the experience many others can only wish for.

“I would like to thank everyone for their support over my journey, especially my girlfriend, family, team-mates, coaches and agents. I feel very fortunate to have you all in my life.

“Also, a massive thank you to the fans of Liverpool, Glasgow Rangers, Burnley, Bolton, Charleroi and HB Koge who have supported me throughout.

“You have been great and have made my journey an unforgettable one. I will now begin the next chapter of my football journey and I’m excited about what the future brings.

“See you soon, Flanno.”