Champions League winner Jonathan Greening retires from football

Jonathan Greening has reportedly retired from football, according to Hartlepool United boss Colin Cooper.

Jonathan Greening is perhaps not the most well known member of that Manchester United Champions League winning side of 1998-99 - but with Roy Keane and Paul Scholes suspended the former York City man was on the bench in Barcelona. He earned a Champions League winners medal after late goals from Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Two years later, and after failing to make the breakthrough at United, Greening left for Middlesbrough and went on to play for the likes of West Brom, Fulham and Barnsley. He was released by Nottingham Forest this summer but looked as if he was on his way to Hartlepool to join up with former Boro team-mate Colin Cooper, who is the manager at Victoria Park.

Greening was on trial at the club this summer and returned last week for a couple of sessions with the Monkey Hangers. But Cooper has now confirmed that rather than sign for the club Greening will in fact be retiring from professional football.

Cooper stated:

“Jonathan had two days with us and decided to retire from football – I don’t know what it says about my sessions! He had some time during the summer with his family and came in here. I was prepared to sit down and talk with him about moving forward, but he said he feels as though it’s probably beyond him."

Cooper also revealed that he tried to talk him out of the decision:

“He’s a great lad, I told him not to be hasty – here or anywhere else. He is keen to get involved in coaching and is on the pathway to his badges, but I have seen some players regret stopping playing when they could carry on.’’

His retirement means that only he and Wes Brown remain active from the squad that won the Champions League in 1999.

So good luck to Greening in his retirement, and we are sure to see him in the game in some capacity as the years go by.

Register for MANCHESTER UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch