Wellington Phoenix midfielder will retire from the game when his contract with the club expires in June.
The 34-year old has been forced out of the game by an ongoing knee injury which will require surgery.
Johnson began his professional career in 1991 with Watford in England where he played over 200 matches and played with several other English clubs including Northampton, Colchester United, Stoke City, Queens Park Rangers and Milton Keyes Dons.
More recently, he has played with the Newcastle Jets, New Zealand Knights and ends his career with the Phoenix.
"I had trouble with my knee all through the season and basically I've been told I have to stop playing if I want to have any sort of life after football," Johnson said.
"It's a bit gutting for me, really. I would have liked to have continued playing. Football is all I've ever known and all I've ever wanted to do and I've spent nearly 18 years as a pro. But the decision's been made for me, I guess, and now I'm looking forward to the next phase in my life."