Former Burnley goalkeeper Lee Grant retires as Manchester United contract ends
Former Clarets keeper Lee Grant has retired from professional football.
The 39-year-old has decided to hang up his gloves after four years with Manchester United, having previously played for Derby County, Burnley, Oldham Athletic, Sheffield Wednesday and Stoke City, making over 500 appearances career appearances.
A former England Under 21 international, Grant had two spells at Turf Moor, joining on loan in 15 November 2005 as cover for the suspended Brian Jensen., making only one appearance against Leicester City.
Then Brian Laws, his boss at Sheffield Wednesday, signed him from the Owls in the summer of 2010 after relegation from the Premier League, for around £1 million.
Grant made 126 appearances under Laws, Eddie Howe and then Sean Dyche before leaving in the summer of 2013, having been named the fans' player of the season in his final season.
At Old Trafford, Grant featured twice in competitive games for United, and became the club’s most senior European debutant of all time, at the age of 36 years and 305 days, when he was named in the starting XI for a Europa League group-stage game away to Astana.Grant said: “After 511 appearances, I’ve decided it’s the right time to move into the next stage of my career.
“There have been so many fun moments mixed in with the odd challenge, but I’m grateful for each and every one.
“Fulfilling a boyhood dream of playing for Manchester United was something I thought was out of reach, so to have achieved that fills me with great pride and emotion!“Although I haven’t played as many games in the last four years, I’ve given everything to the group every single day on the training pitch and in the dressing room. The opportunity to join the biggest club in the world was one I could never turn down and I’m so grateful for the lessons learned and the friends I’ve gained.“The opportunity to challenge, set standards and ultimately learn from some truly exceptional players and staff has been so valuable.
“I’ve been extremely fortunate to play for some amazing clubs, Derby County, Oldham Athletic, Sheffield Wednesday, Burnley, Stoke City and now to finish at the pinnacle – Manchester United. I’m thankful to each and every club for what they have given to me, each one has shaped me into who I am. The relationship with the supporters of these great clubs will always be one of my most treasured memories.
“There are too many incredible football people to thank as I’ve received untold amounts of help from so many special people over the last 23 years. I do however want to say a huge thank you to my family and in particular my wife, Helen, for moving around the country with me, allowing me to pursue my dream. Football has given me so much, but it can also be tough on partners and children. Without them it would never have been possible to achieve what I did.
“As I move into the next stage of my career, I’m excited and hungry about the beginning of a new journey and the hard work that lies ahead!”