Daryl Fordyce has called time on his 20-year professional football career.
The Belfast native, who played for both sides of the Big Two, is hanging up his boots bringing his playing time with Valour FC, who play in the Canadian Premier League, to an end.
The 36-year-old does not intend on straying too far from the Winnipeg based club though as he will take up a player development role.
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Valour was Fordyce's ninth club of a well-travelled career which has seen him play in England, America and Ireland as well as Northern Ireland and Canada.
The former Northern Ireland international made the decision to go to North America back in 2013 when he and then teammate Albert Watson made the decision to leave Linfield to join FC Edmonton.
It is a decision would proved to be the right one for Fordyce and his family.
Speaking to the Valour FC website Fordyce admitted it was emotional when he came to the realisation "that's it".
“I was crying my eyes out,” he said. “I’ve been a pro for 20 years and so this obviously not an easy thing to do. It was 20 years of emotions from all the mental and physical work I’ve put in and realising, ‘That’s it.’”
“In making the (retirement) decision, I had to determine what’s best for me and the team going forward.
"I’ve always wanted to stay in the game, for sure, and knew the day was going to come where I would have to retire.
“I’m so grateful for what I’ve had and for what’s going to come now that my playing career is done.
“I’m going to miss being in the locker room and taking some crap from some of the boys as we joke around, but also giving advice to some of the younger guys who might seek it out. I’ll miss that banter. But life goes on and 20 years… wow, it’s gone just like that."
After three years with Valour Fordyce and his family have made Winnipeg their home.
“I’ve been here for three years and I have a love for Valour, there’s no doubt about that,” he said. “I see the progression each year I’ve been here and how close we are to make the playoffs.
“The other thing is my family is happy here. My wife is settled into a job and my son will start school in September. We had moved around a lot before that – in America, Canada, Ireland – over a number of years and it’s not easy packing up and moving around, especially when a kid comes along. This is a perfect scenario and that makes the decision to retire a lot easier.”
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