Former Ipswich Town, Middlesbrough and Sunderland midfielder Grant Leadbitter has taken to Instagram to confirm his retirement.

Leadbitter, 35, has confirmed his retirement from playing.

The Chester-born midfielder began his career with Sunderland having made his first-team debut for the club way back in 2003.

He spent several years at the Stadium of Light in what proved to be his first of two stints at the club, before joining Ipswich Town in 2009.

Three years at Portman Road was followed by seven at Middlesbrough between 2012 and 2019, where the midfield enforcer featured 244 times in all competitions and scored 32 goals.

He returned to Sunderland midway through the 2018/19 season though and would go on to make a further 80 appearances for the Black Cats – 203 in total for the club.

Here’s what Leadbitter posted on Instagram, announcing his retirement:

Leadbitter was release by Sunderland at the end of last season.

He featured 42 times in League One last season and scored a commendable seven goals from midfield, helping his side reach the play-off semi-finals where they were beaten by Lincoln City.

A favourite both on and off the pitch, Leadbitter was a professional right up until his final game for Sunderland, and he’ll be remembered by fans of every team he played for in an 18-year career as a professional footballer.