New England Patriots star Rob Gronkowski announces retirement

New England Patriots star tight end Rob Gronkowski has announced his retirement from the NFL in a social media post.

It ends a nine-year career that included helping the Patriots to another Super Bowl triumph in February when they beat the Los Angeles Rams.

"It all started at 20 years old on stage at the NFL draft when my dream came true," he wrote on Instagram.external-link

"And now here I am about to turn 30 in a few months with a decision I feel is the biggest of my life so far."

He added: "I will be retiring from the game of football today."

In the post, Gronkowski - a three-time Super Bowl champion - thanked the Patriots, his team-mates and fans.

Rob Gronkowski's Instagram post in which he announced his retirement on Sunday

"Thank you for everyone accepting who I am and the dedication I have put into my work to be the best player I could be. But now its time to move forward."

He ended the lengthy post by writing: "Cheers to all who have been part of this journey, cheers to the past for the incredible memories, and a HUGE cheers to the uncertain of what's next."

A four-time First Team All-Pro and five-time Pro Bowl selection, Gronkowski caught 521 passes for 7,861 yards and 79 touchdowns in 115 games from 2010-18.

He added 81 catches for 1,163 yards and 12 touchdowns in 16 postseason contests.

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