Michael Kightly: Former Wolves winger retires aged 33

Michael Kightly (left) celebrates
Michael Kightly helped Wolves win the Championship title in 2009 - one of three promotions he won from England's second tier

Southend United winger Michael Kightly has announced his retirement aged 33.

Kightly made 425 career appearances and played in the Premier League for Burnley, Stoke and Wolves.

"It's been a great career but one that has been tough physically, and it's been tough mentally as well, more so in the last couple of years," he said.

"It wasn't that difficult a decision to make. I thought about it in the summer and then I came back to pre-season and thought the time was right for me."

Kightly, who had a year remaining on his contract with Southend, added: "It's frustrating when your legs can't do what they used to do. I probably could play on for another year, or a couple of years, but I don't see the point to be honest.

"I was lucky enough to fulfil my dream of playing in the Premier League so I'm really proud at all that I achieved."

Kightly played a key role as Wolves won the Championship title in 2008-09, but serious knee injuries blighted his final three seasons at Molineux.

He also went up from the second tier twice with Burnley in 2014 and 2016, and made 39 appearances in his final season at League One Southend, the club with which he started his career.