Former English Premier League striker Michael Bridges has retired from professional football.
Bridges, 32, made more than 200 appearances in the Premier League playing for clubs such as Sunderland, Newcastle and Leeds.
A former England U-20 international, he played 92 matches for Sunderland and 82 for Leeds United over 10 seasons, scoring 21 goals for each club.
He enjoyed three spells with the Black Cats and three with Carlisle United.
Bridges, who joined the Newcastle Jets in Australia in 2009, informed his teammates of his decision on Friday, but will stay on with the A-League side as their international football and business development manager.
“After great consideration it was a difficult to decision to make,” Bridges said.
“However the opportunity to enter the next phase of my life is one that is too exciting not to take now whilst it is being offered.”
“The opportunity to help develop the next group of footballers for the Jets and to join the (club owners) Tinkler Sports Group is really appealing.”
Jets’ board chairman Ray Baartz said he was delighted Bridges would continue to be involved with the club.
“Michael is just a class act,” Baartz said. “He is hugely respected by all at the Newcastle Jets.”
“To have Michael to continue with the club in an off-field role not only is a great coup by the club, but speaks volumes for the direction the club is heading in.”
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