Ex-Burnley defender announces retirement after 20-year career with Aston Villa, Stoke City, Sunderland & others

Former Burnley defender Phil Bardsley has announced his retirement from football.
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The 37-year-old has called time on a 20-year playing career after injuries limited him to just six league outings in the past three seasons.

The right-back spent the second half of last season with Stockport County, but after just two games for the League Two side he’s decided to hang up his boots.

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Bardsley began his career with Manchester United’s academy before making his first-team bow in 2003.

In the first of two spells at Turf Moor, the Salford-born defender made six appearances for Burnley during a loan spell in 2006. He also turned out for Royal Antwerp, Rangers, Aston Villa and Sheffield United.

After failing to force his way into Man Utd’s plans, he left to join Sunderland on a permanent deal in 2008, where he enjoyed a six-year stay in the North East.

Three years at Stoke City followed before he made the move to East Lancashire, albeit permanently this time, in 2017, racking up 71 appearances over five years under Sean Dyche.

Bardsley left Turf Moor last season after spending five years with the clubBardsley left Turf Moor last season after spending five years with the club
Bardsley left Turf Moor last season after spending five years with the club
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Bardsley also earned 13 caps for Scotland after qualifying through his father, who was born in Glasgow.

Last year, Bardsley spoke of his disappointment at the manner of his exit from Turf Moor after coming to the end of his contract with the club.

“It was quite difficult, it came out on Sky Sports News,” he told talkSPORT.

“You have to say your goodbyes – you don’t really want to be in the chats anymore, that’s the most difficult thing.

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“On the same day as I said my goodbyes to the lads, four or five players did the same thing, so it was tough.

“It’s strange, I had a good relationship with the hierarchy at Burnley, they were coming to me asking for advice with the squad and how the players were feeling, so it was a little bit weird the way it all unfolded, in terms of being released.

"There were a lot of experienced players there, you wouldn’t expect that, there was me, Aaron Lennon, Dale Stephens, Erik Pieters – players that have played at a good level for a long period of time.

"I don’t think it would have been hard just to pick the phone up and have that conversation with them.”