Everton skipper Neville announces retirement

Former Everton captain Phil Neville has announced his retirement.

Initially he refused to rule out retirement, but has now confirmed that he will not be adding to his 505 Premier League appearances.

"I was speaking to Robbie Fowler about this the other week and he hasn't officially retired," Neville, currently coaching with the England Under-21 team at the European Championship in Israel, said.

"Three weeks ago, everyone in the world seemed to be retiring. I thought 'I'm not jumping on this bandwagon'.

"I just wanted it to be a smooth, quiet turnover. I didn't want that.

"When I made a statement that I was leaving Everton, everywhere I went I seemed to be getting 'oh you've been brilliant'. I didn't like it. I didn't want to be seen as an attention-seeker.

"In my heart, I knew that I wouldn't be playing again - at any level. I just wanted to drift away.

"The biggest thing I will miss is July 4 when Everton are due back for pre-season training. I loved that day. I lived for it, getting back with the lads.

"My wife, she knows what I'm like. She's saying 'for God's sake, don't have any more time off!"'

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