Gary Caldwell retires

Gary Caldwell

Gary Caldwell

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WIGAN Athletic defender Gary Caldwell has confirmed his retirement.

The Scot hasn’t featured at all for Latics this season with his final appearance being the play-off semi-final second leg defeat at QPR last May.

Caldwell, 32, has struggled to recover from a lengthy hip problem though leaving him on the sidelines for the past nine months.

It brings to an end a lengthy career which has seen him captain Celtic and Scotland as well as Latics, where he of course lifted the FA Cup.

“That’s the end for me,” he told the Scotsman. “I have been struggling for years, to be perfectly honest, and even training was becoming really painful. I had the second operation on my left hip just under two years ago and while it helped a little bit I was never the same again. I played four games and that was it.

“The first time I got the operation it was a success and it had a good effect. But the surgeon was honest with me when I went in the second time in the summer of 2013 and said that he wasn’t sure if it was going to help me. So it’s something I knew was coming. Of course, you want to play but I also wanted to get into coaching and I have the chance now rather than wondering ‘what am I going to do now?’

Gary Caldwell with the FA Cup

Gary Caldwell with the FA Cup

“In the summer I tried to keep playing but Uwe Rösler also wanted me to get involved in the academy side of the club.

“I tried to play as much as possible in pre-season but I was really struggling and I was in pain every day at training.”

It’s likely that Caldwell will remain at Wigan in a coaching capacity, although the exact position is yet to be confirmed.

He added: “Malky has said he hopes to keep me at the club but he’s not sure in what role yet.

“I have been struggling for years to be perfectly honest, and even training was becoming really painful

Gary Caldwell

“It’s been difficult for Malky for a variety of reasons but we need something to happen on the pitch.”