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Former Stevenage, AFC Wimbledon and Wycombe Wanderers defender Darius Charles retires aged 34

Former Stevenage, AFC Wimbledon and Wycombe Wanderers defender Darius Charles has announced his retirement.

The Football League stalwart has called time on his playing career at the age of 34.

Charles will be staying in the football industry despite hanging up his boots.

He has taken to Instagram to send the following message (see below):

Lengthy career

Charles started his career at Brentford and rose up through the academy of the London club. He went on to play 42 times for the Bees in all competitions as a youngster, as well as having loan spell away at Thurrock, Yeading, Staines Town, Crawley Town, Sutton United and Ebbsfleet United.

The latter swooped to sign him on a permanent basis in 2008 and he spent two years in non-league before Stevenage threw him a Football League lifeline.

He went on to become a key player for Boro and played 167 games for them in all competitions, helping them gain promotion from League Two in his first year at the club.

Charles, who could play as either a centre-back or up front if needed, moved to Burton Albion in 2015 but swiftly switched to AFC Wimbledon where he was part of another promotion to League One.

Wycombe Wanderers then came calling and he helped Gareth Ainsworth’s men go up to the Championship during his time at Adams’ Park and played five times in the second tier just last season.

However, his contract expired at the end of June last year and he moved back to Wimbledon on a free transfer as a player.

Charles was placed in caretaker charge of the Dons following the departure of Mark Robinson and has now retired as he looks to embark on a new chapter in his life.

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