Ex-Leeds, Sunderland and Newcastle striker announces retirement

Elland Road

Michael Bridges will hang up his boots at the end of the current A-League season.

At a time adjudged as one of the brightest prospects in English football, Michael Bridges will bring the curtain down on his career at the end of the current Australian A-League season.

The veteran forward currently plays for the Newcastle Jets down under and has announced that he will hang up his boots in the near future.

“When you play for as long as I have, you see the highs and lows of football,” Bridges told The Australian newspaper.

“Thankfully I’ve been lucky enough to have great support around me throughout my career and I’ve loved and cherished every minute of it.

“Having the opportunity to play football for a living is something that I never took for granted and I’m extremely grateful for all the experiences I’ve had along the way.”

Bridges will be remembered as a player full of promise but someone who struggled with injuries.

The attacker represented England at under-18 and under-21 level but never made his senior debut, despite at times showing glimpses of real ability.

Bridges started out at Sunderland and struck up a memorable strike partnership with Kevin Phillips. Over four years he hit 16 league goals in 79 appearances for the Wearside club.

A move to Leeds United followed where he was one of a host of young stars to be brought to Elland Road.

He spent five years with the Yorkshire outfit but was plagued by injuries that stopped him reaching his potential.

Throughout the remainder of his career Bridges has played for Newcastle, Bolton, Bristol City, Carlisle, Hull, Milton Keynes Dons and Sydney FC.

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