Man United fans react on Twitter as Rio Ferdinand announces retirement

Rio Ferdinand United

The central defender is a legend at Manchester United and West Ham, and has called time on his career after a short spell with QPR.

Rio Ferdinand has announced that he is retiring from playing football when his one-year deal at QPR expires, in a statement read out while he was on BT Sport.

"After 18 years as a professional footballer, I now feel it's the right time for me to retire from the game that I love," he declared.

His Queens Park Rangers contract is due to expire at the end of June, and after a difficult year in West London, the England legend has decided to call time on his playing career.

The 36-year-old made just a dozen appearances at Loftus Road having spent 12 years at Old Trafford where he won a whole host of trophies.

The defender has had to battle with personal tragedy recently, after his wife Rebecca passed away earlier this month battling breast cancer.

Ferdinand played for England as part of the country's 'golden generation', winning 81 caps and playing at three World Cups. 

He started his career at hometown club West Ham United, before winning his first England cap at the age of 19. He then went on to feature for Leeds United, before moving to Manchester United in 2002, playing 455 times for the Red Devils and winning the Champions League and six Premier League titles among others.

Below are a selection of tweets relating to his announcement, with Manchester United fans paying particular praise to their former hero:

Register for MANCHESTER UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch