Ex-Northern Ireland player Andrew Little retires at age 29

Andrew Little in action for NI against legendary Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon in October 2011
Andrew Little in action for NI against legendary Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon in October 2011

Nine-times capped Northern Ireland international Andrew Little has announced his retirement from football at the age of 29.

The versatile player says he made his decision to quit the game after suffering a series of injury setbacks.

Little enjoyed two spells at Rangers, scoring 33 goals in 65 appearances, and helping the club win the Scottish Third Division and League One titles.

The Enniskillen man won his first cap in March 2009 and his last in 2012.

Little, who could play in any outfield position, also played for NI at Under-17, Under-19, Under-21 and 'B' level.

He was presently on the books of Scottish Championship side Dumbarton.

The Fermanagh-born player left Ballinamallard for Rangers in 2006 and turned professional the following year.

He was the Glasgow club's top scorer during his second spell at the club in the 2012-13 season.

"After a lot of thought I have decided to retire from football," said Little on social media.

"I've had an extremely frustrating four and a half years since I left 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.

"Among my highlights were playing for Rangers, a club I still feel so much a part of, scoring in an Old Firm match and finishing as top goal-scorer for the club in 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.

"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."