Man Utd hero Cole announces retirement

Andy Cole has announced his playing retirement.

Andy Cole has announced his playing retirement.

As a key part of the Manchester United side of the late 1990s Cole's partnership with Dwight Yorke was a key feature in the 1999 Treble, while he won 15 international caps.

Spells with top-flight sides Arsenal, Blackburn, Fulham, Newcastle and Manchester City also feature on his CV and he sits second in the all-time Premier League scoring charts, with only Alan Shearer ahead of him.

Cole has a host of happy memories to look back on as he prepares to hang up his boots but admits his acrimonious departure from Championship strugglers Nottingham Forest was not how he envisaged bowing out.

"It's not the ideal ending," Cole told The Times.

"It just wasn't working out. I told them from the outset that I didn't want to go there to sit on the bench because I didn't want to be perceived as sitting back and making easy money.

"I wanted to go there and offer something, but it was a strange one from the start. I never knew what my role was. Was it to lend a hand, use my experience, or was it a PR thing, to sell a few more season tickets? I still don't know.

"I felt like the manager wouldn't have a conversation with me. I don't know if it's the right word, but he seemed kind of intimidated by me.

"People will look at it and say this is how they expected me to go, in a huff or in some kind of controversy, but it wasn't like that. I just wish Forest could have been honest. I've always been honest in my career, maybe too honest for my own good."

Despite the disappointing climax to his career, Cole insists he has no regrets. "I wouldn't change a thing. I've lived the dream," he added.

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