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Carlisle calls it a day

STARTING A NEW CHAPTER: Carlisle

NORTHAMPTON TOWN defender Clarke Carlisle announced on May 23 that he is retiring from playing football.

The 33-year-old, who is the chairman of the Professional Footballers’ Association but is now set to relinquish that role as he is no longer an active player, first turned professional for Blackpool in 1997 and played in over 500 matches.

During his career the centre-half had spells at Burnley, Leeds United, Queens Park Ranger and Watford just to name a few teams.

His last game for Northampton was their 3-0 loss to Bradford City in the League Two play-off final at Wembley Stadium on May 18.

Away from the pitch, Carlisle is known for his intellectual rigour.

He has a degree in professional sports writing and broadcasting from Staffordshire University.

In 2002 he was crowned 'Britain’s Brainiest Footballer' in an ITV show hosted by Carol Vorderman and also made several successful appearances on the Channel 4 game show Countdown.

Speaking on his decision to retire Carlisle told the Herald and Post: “It wasn’t an easy decision. The fact of the matter is my body can’t do what I want it to anymore.

“That’s something you get used to as you get older and you learn to read the game differently, but what I found at points of this season was my body couldn’t do what I needed it to and that’s a completely different thing.

He continued: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my entire career, but even more so this season. At my age and my time of life, to be able to contribute to this squad and such a special thing that happened here with [manager] Aidy [Boothroyd] taking a group of ragamuffins and almost non-league players last year all the way to Wembley.”

Boothroyd paid tribute to Carlisle’s contributions at the club.

He said: "He is a leader and an organiser and for him it is about moving on to the next chapter of his life.

"We wish him well, I am grateful I have been able to be his manager and for the contribution he has made, not just to Northampton Town, but to football in general."

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