Morecambe legend Stewart Drummond has announced he is to retire at the end of the season.
The 39-year-old will call time on a career that has spanned 21 years and seen him play more than 500 games for the club after the final game of the season against Southend on Saturday.
The midfielder, also the club’s Head of Youth and Reserves manager, is set to feature in the game with fans being encouraged to give him a fitting send-off.
Drummond said: “As the season has progressed I have been doing more and more work with the club’s youth team and the workload has become pretty hard to sustain.
“It is difficult to train with the first team and then coach the youngsters and look after all the admin duties that need doing so at the age of 39 I think the time is right to officially retire.
“I still feel fit enough and would have loved to have played another year but I want to play every game and get frustrated when I’m not involved and I’m sure this is the best decision.
“I want to do all I can to help make the club’s youth team system as good as it can possibly be and I can now give that 100 per cent of my time.
“I’ve loved every minute of my time at Morecambe and I can’t believe how fast the time has gone.
“I would really like to thank all the fans for the support they have given me over the years and thank the club for all its support to me.”
Shrimps boss Jim Bentley said: “Stewart has been a legend for the club and been an amazing servant.
“He is arguably the best player I ever played with at Morecambe and I’m not sure we will see anyone else ever make as many appearances for the club again.
“He has been part of the backroom staff for four seasons now and has done a great job with the reserves and the youth team.
“I know just how hard a decision it would have been for Stewart to take but he is now the club’s academy director and I’m sure he will do all he can to steer a new generation of Stewart Drummonds through to the first team over the next few years.”