Warrington stand-off Lee Briers has announced his retirement from rugby league on medical advice.
Briers, 35, has made 425 appearances for the Wolves since signing as an 18-year-old from St Helens in 1997, scoring a club record 2,586 points.
Numerous scans and consultations have highlighted the damage sustained to the former Wales international’s neck, leaving him with no option but to retire from playing.
He said: “I feel privileged to have played for so long. Unfortunately it has come to an end but it was going to one day and the doctor took that out of my hands. I’m sad but I’ve got good things to look forward to now with the coaching; my next chapter.
“It is something I have always wanted to focus on and now I have the opportunity to do that. I would have liked an extra year playing but I now hope to help find the next superstars of Warrington Wolves.”
Briers, whose last appearance came in the Super League Grand Final defeat to Wigan last month, will now make the transition to the club’s coaching staff.
He won the Challenge Cup three times, was Lance Todd Trophy winner in 2010 and has recently launched his autobiography “Off the Cuff”.
Warrington coach Tony Smith said: “On behalf of the Warrington club, its supporters and Rugby League fans I’d like to thank Lee for his contributions to the game.
“He has brought enormous enjoyment and pleasure to those who have witnessed his skills. I have personally enjoyed watching Lee develop both as a player and a person and look forward to working with him in the next chapter of his career.”