CRAIG PEAD has announced he's retiring from football after being released by Brentford FC.
The 27-year-old utility man has been plagued by a knee injury for the past few years, which restricted him to just nine appearances this term.
And he's decided to call it a day after being told by doctors he could end up crippled if he carries on playing.
He said: "It's hard to come to terms with. I've been playing football since I could walk, but the knee injury has taken it's toll and is ending my career.
"I've had it for a few years and it's just got worse. I didn't think it would hit me so soon, but I've got to think of the bigger picture."
Pead played 44 games for the Bees since his switch from Walsall in 2007.
The former Coventry City man was transfer-listed by boss Andy Scott last summer, but decided to stay at Griffin Park to fight for his place after he failed a medical at Port Vale.
He forced his way back into the reckoning, before being sidelined for the rest of the season through injury.
Pead, who was named in the PFA team of the year last season, plans to take his coaching badges over the summer.
He added: "I had a great time at Brentford. All the management, staff and players were immense, and it was nice to end it with a medal."