Former England manager Martin Johnson led the tributes to Lewis Moody after the Bath flanker announced his retirement from rugby with immediate effect.
The pair played together at Welford Road for eight years and Moody was part of the squad which Johnson captained to glory at the 2003 World Cup.
As England manager, Johnson also chose his former teammate to skipper his squad at last year's World Cup in New Zealand.
Johnson said: "When I look back at playing with Lewis it always brings a smile to my face - it was never dull.
"He was one of the most committed guys I ever played with and had a complete disregard for his own physical wellbeing.
"It's sad that he has had to retire but he should be remembered for a great career and someone who never gave less than 100 percent for his club and country."
Bath director of rugby Ian McGeechan said: "Lewis has been a fantastic servant to the game, and I am disappointed I will not now have another opportunity to work with him on the training pitch and watch him deliver in a Bath jersey.
"He has had a tremendous career and is a player I have greatly admired. He is always fully committed and is everything any coach would want in a back row forward.
"He is someone whose opinion I trust and value, and he leaves a fantastic legacy from his time with Leicester, England and the Lions, which will long be remembered."
Bath chief executive Nick Blofeld said: "Lewis has had a very positive impact throughout his time with Bath.
"Part of the reason we signed him was due to the experience and attitude he would bring off the field as well as on it, and he has played a big role in helping us to strengthen the culture, attitude and playing environment at the club.
"We are of course sad to see him retire, but wish him all the best with his future."
Damian Hopley, chief executive of the Rugby Players Association, added: "Lewis Moody has been one of the great servants of rugby in England over a magnificent 16-year career in which he lifted every major trophy in domestic, European and international Rugby.
"He has never given anything less than 100% to the cause and always led from the front in taking on his opponents.
"Whilst any forced retirement can be a very traumatic time for our players, I hope that Lewis will look back with immense pride on his outstanding career and that he will use his key attributes including discipline, determination and leadership in making the transition away from playing into his next chosen career.
"As a former England captain Lewis has done so much for the sport and we all wish him and his family every success for the next stage of their lives."