Former West Bromwich Albion player and club legend James Morrison has announced his retirement from football at the age of 33.
The former Baggies star spent 12 years at The Hawthorns before his release in the summer, scoring 39 goals in 341 appearances.
‘Mozza’ stated he received a number of offers following his release, but has instead chosen to start his coaching journey with Albion’s Academy, according to the club’s official website.
“It’s been really hard to make this decision,” he said. “Football has been my life for so long. It’s difficult to say goodbye to that.
“Having said that, being offered the opportunity to return to this club to begin some coaching has helped me come to terms with my playing days coming to an end.
“I loved playing here. It’s easy to take it all for granted, but I really have loved my time here, so to be able to extend that in a non-playing capacity is great.”
Albion fans have taken to Twitter to share their support for the former Scotland international.
Good luck Mozza, albion through and through #WBA
— taga.bird (@taga_bird33) October 29, 2019
Great decision by the club.
Wish you all the best Mozza.
— chris parkes (@parksey1972) October 29, 2019
Once a baggie always a baggie true gent!
— Emma (@emmahaleyxox) October 29, 2019
This is FABULOUS NEWS!!!! Well done to the club for giving James the opportunity. Great work again by Luke Dowling
— Carl 1878 (@baggyboy1878) October 29, 2019
A modern day legend for most but for me this bloke is a real club legend! All the best Mozza. What a servant and so many memories
— Adam (@adam_wba) October 29, 2019
And even former West Brom shot-stopper Ben Foster got in on the action of wishing the best for his old team-mate.
What a player! Congrats on a brilliant career mozza, another great signing @WBA
— Ben Foster (@BenFoster) October 29, 2019
What do we think?
It seems a shame to see a player like Morrison retire at the tender age of 33, but the fact that he is continuing on a different path with the club to coach youngsters is a joy to see. He’ll be remembered for his goal contribution during the Baggies’ many Premier League campaigns but most of all for being a committed club man.
Although he only managed to make a total of 37 assists and contribute with 39 goals in his 341 appearances, maybe he can help those in the club’s academy be even more effective in the final third than he was during his prime.