Cole calls time on career

Legendary striker slips into retirement

By Chris Burton.   Last Updated: 11/11/08 5:42pm

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Cole: Acrimonious exit

Cole: Acrimonious exit

Sky Bet

Andy Cole has announced his retirement from football, bringing to an end a glittering 19-year career.

The legendary striker can now reflect on playing days which saw him collect countless medals and represent some of the most illustrious sides in England.

Newcastle, Manchester United, Blackburn Rovers, Fulham and Manchester City all benefited from Cole's remarkable goalscoring instincts, while he also represented his country on 15 occasions.

He sits second in the all-time Premier League scoring charts, with only Alan Shearer proving to be a more deadly hit-man.

Cole has a host of happy memories to look back on as he prepares to hang up his boots but admits his acrimonious departure from Nottingham Forest, where he had his contract terminated by mutual consent after just four months at the club, was not how he envisaged bowing out.

"It's not the ideal ending," Cole told The Times.

"It just wasn't working out. I told them from the outset that I didn't want to go there to sit on the bench because I didn't want to be perceived as sitting back and making easy money.

Intimidated

"I wanted to go there and offer something, but it was a strange one from the start. I never knew what my role was. Was it to lend a hand, use my experience, or was it a PR thing, to sell a few more season tickets? I still don't know.

"I felt like the manager wouldn't have a conversation with me. I don't know if it's the right word, but he seemed kind of intimidated by me.

"People will look at it and say this is how they expected me to go, in a huff or in some kind of controversy, but it wasn't like that. I just wish Forest could have been honest. I've always been honest in my career, maybe too honest for my own good."

Despite the disappointing climax to his career, Cole insists he has no regrets.

"I wouldn't change a thing. I've lived the dream," he added.

Cole is now expected to pursue his ambition of going into coaching, with Blackburn already rumoured to have expressed an interest in acquiring his services.

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