Craig Bellamy has announced his retirement from professional football.
The 34-year old Welsh striker has opted to close the curtain on a career which kicked off back in 1996 and saw him play for nine different clubs in England and Scotland.
Bellamy was a part of the Cardiff City side that was relegated from the Premier League last season and has since opted to end his playing days at the culmination of his 17th season.
"It's been on my mind to finish playing for the last couple of years, but this time I've had to make a decision. I've had to listen to my body," Bellamy said.
"I guess over the years I've become accustomed to the pain from various injuries, but for the last three to four years I've been on anti-inflammatories every day.
"I'm not sure my body will think that's a wise thing in due course, but it kept me playing for that period.
"However, the time has come to stand aside and say enough. My body can't take any more.
"When Cardiff got promoted, it was the sense of achievement with my home-town club that meant most to me, rather than being able to play another season in the Premier League.
"I had performed at that level for 12 years anyway. The goal of getting Cardiff up there meant more to me than actually playing there again myself.
"But I spoke to Malky Mackay and he talked me around for one last challenge. I wasn't sure I could offer too much."
He made 78 appearances for Wales, scoring 19 goals, and represented Great Britain at the 2012 Olympic Games.
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