LONDON - Former England defender Wayne Bridge has retired from football after an injury-hit season, it was announced on Tuesday.
Bridge joined English second-tier side Reading in pre-season but played just 12 games for the Royals, suffering a knee injury that needed an operation in November and returning only in the last few weeks of the campaign.
The 33-year-old left-back was a long-time deputy to Ashley Cole in the England team, winning 36 caps from 2002 to 2009.
He quit the England set-up before the 2010 World Cup, following newspaper allegations regarding his former girlfriend and his international team-mate John Terry.
At the time, Bridge said his place in the squad was "untenable and potentially divisive".
Bridge's retirement was announced by his management company Icon Sports, who stated on Twitter: "Wayne Bridge has today (Tuesday) announced his retirement from football. A career in which he won a Premier League, FA Cup, League Cup and earnt 36 England Caps. From all at Icon, we wish him very happy retirement." Bridge made his name at Southampton, making his debut in 1998 and staying for five years on the south coast before spending five-and-a-half years at Chelsea, where he became a Premier League winner in 2005.
He moved to Manchester City in January 2009 and then had loan spells with West Ham, Sunderland and Brighton before signing for Reading on a one-year deal.