As aging players from England’s Premier League look to finish their careers with a final payday in America’s MLS ex-England international Rio Ferdinand announced his retirement from playing in a more understated way. The Guardian reports the former Manchester United defender walked away from the game following the death of his wife from cancer and relegation from the Premier league with Queens Park Rangers. The 36 year old had been a regular for West Ham United, Leeds United, Manchester United and England before enjoying a final season with QPR.
Ferdinand is best remembered for his time at Old Trafford as a key member of the Manchester United team that dominated English football under legendary coach Sir Alex Ferguson. Ferdinand remained a fixture in the team under Ferguson and David Moyes for 12 years and appeared for England 81 times during a trophy laden career. Ferdinand had been at the center of a media frenzy following the death of his wife, Rebecca Ellison on may 1st after a battle with breast cancer. During his retirement statement Ferdinand paid tribute to his wife and thanked the fans of his many clubs for their support over his career.