The 35-year-old has been weighing up his options since leaving Sunderland earlier this summer, and will now consider his next steps in the game.
The hugely popular midfielder says the memories of his two spells at the club his family have supported since he was a boy 'will live with him forever'.
Leadbitter made a total of 210 appearances for his boyhood club Sunderland, scoring 18 goals during two stints on Wearside.
Leadbitter also thanked Middlesbrough and Ipswich Town for their part in his career after he enjoyed stints at both clubs during a stellar playing career.
Writing on Instagram, Leadbitter said: "The time has come to officially end my days playing professional football.
"After taking a few months off to enjoy a holiday with the family and reflect, I've realised I am ready to retire.
"Of course there has been the temptation to carry on, but since playing my final game for Sunderland in May I had it in my mind I wasn't going to play on. I just wanted to be sure it was the correct decision.
"For me to finish my second and final spell at the club where it all started, the one I supported as a boy, and where I loved going with my mam and dad, just seems right.
Here, we take a look at his best and most emotional moments in red and white.
5. Scoring against Arsenal at the Stadium of Light
Cesc Fabregas scored a late header to rescue a disappointing Arsenal after Grant Leadbitter's stunning drive had appeared to hand Sunderland victory back in 2019. But it was an emotional afternoon for Leadbitter, who ran to pay homage to his late father, whose ashes are scattered at the Stadium of Light.
Photo: ANDREW YATES
6. Scoring in a Tees-Wear derby!
Sunderland took the lead against Middlesbrough after 75 seconds when Michael Chopra's shot hit Grant Leadbitter and fell kindly for him to slot past Mark Schwarzer. The game would end 2-2
Photo: Gary M. Prior
7. The Lee Cattermole scrap!
Following his goal in the 2-2 draw with Middlesbrough back in 200, Leadbitter and Lee Cattermole came together in what has become an iconic photo. The pair would go on to play together during Leadbitter's second spell at the club.
8. Leadbitter re-signs for Sunderland
After stints with Ipswich Town and Middlesbrough, Leadbitter re-signed for Sunderland in 2019. He told the club's website at the time: "I'm absolutely delighted to be back, I'm buzzing. When you're a born-and-bred Sunderland fan and there's an opportunity to come back to the football club, well, I was never going to say no I can tell you that."
Photo: Harriet Lander