Former Rangers striker Andy Little has retired from playing football at the tender age of 29.
The Northern Irish striker spent eight years at Ibrox after joining as a 17 year old. He made 89 appearances and scored 38 goals for Rangers and mused over his time at Ibrox in a heartfelt message to fans announcing his retirement.
Little told fans Rangers is a club which he “still feels so much a part of”. The striker also commented on the terrible time with injuries he had in the four and a half years since he left Ibrox, and expressed his “relief” that the decision had now been made.
Andy Little statement:
“After a lot of thought I have decided to retire from football.
“I’ve had an extremely frustrating four and a half years since I left Glasgow Rangers. I’ve had injury after injury, countless scans and gone to considerable effort and expense trying to give myself the best chance of succeeding again.
“Fractured skull, jaw, eye socket and cheekbone, damaged vertebrae, bilateral hip surgery, injections, muscle injuries and Italian gum shields. I thought about calling it a day many times but kept coming back for more – I’m proud of that.
“Amongst my highlights were playing for Glasgow Rangers, a club which I still feel so much a part of, scoring in an Old Firm match and finishing as top goal scorer for the club amidst the madness of the third division.
“Making my debut for Northern Ireland at Windsor Park, replacing David Healy, with my parents in the stands and my brother presenting in the studio was also an incredible moment for me.
“Thank you to Jim Duffy for understanding my situation and I wish my team mates all the best this season.
“After 12 years of playing professionally, I hope I’ve made the right choice. It feels like a massive relief just now and I’m ready to focus on new things.
“Thank you for your support.”
Well thought of at Ibrox
Rangers fans will remember Andy Little perhaps most fondly for his role in stopping Celtic winning the league at Ibrox in 2012. The Ulsterman scored in a 3-2 win which meant Rangers’ arch rivals wouldn’t lift the title on our patch.
A popular figure and character, Andy Little was also our top scorer in Division Three. That’s no mean feat given the backdrop surrounding Rangers at the time.
For that Old Firm goal, and for sticking by the club in our darkest hour, the nine-times capped Northern Irish striker will always be well thought of in Govan.
Good luck with everything in the future Andy.