Former Sunderland star Bridges hangs up his boots

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FORMER Sunderland striker Michael Bridges has announced his retirement from professional football.

The 32-year-old striker made more than 200 appearances in the Premier League during spells with the Black Cats, Leeds and Newcastle, on loan.

Bridges moved to the Newcastle Jets in 2009 and scored six goals in 15 appearances during his first season in Australia.

He became the club’s first overseas-born captain at the start of the 2010-11 campaign, but has since been hampered by a knee injury.

Bridges will stay on with the A-League side as their international football and business development manager.

“After great consideration it was a difficult to decision to make,” the former England Under-21 international said.

“However, the opportunity to enter the next phase of my life is one that is too exciting not to take now whilst it is being offered.”