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Harry Kewell announces retirement

Former Leeds United and Liverpool winger Harry Kewell has announced he is to retire from professional football at the age of 35.

The Australian made over 250 Premier League appearances for the two English clubs from 1995 until 2008, but has most recently been playing for Melbourne Heart, who confirmed their captain would hang up his boots at the end of the A-League season.

"On behalf of Harry Kewell, Melbourne Heart FC confirms the Socceroo legend will retire from professional football at the end of the current Hyundai A-League season," said a statement on the club's official website.

"Kewell's final appearance for Melbourne Heart FC will be against the Western Sydney Wanderers at AAMI Park in the final round of the Hyundai A-League 2013-14 season on April 12."

Kewell came to the fore much earlier with Leeds and was awarded the PFA's Young Player of the Year in the 1999-00 season although he would leave the Yorkshire club for Premier League rivals Liverpool in 2003.

His time with the Merseysiders was blighted by injury and although he became the first Australian-born player to earn a Champions League winners' medal in 2005, Kewell was substituted midway through the first half in the final against AC Milan due to an abductor complaint.

He lasted 48 minutes in the 2006 FA Cup final triumph over West Ham before again being withdrawn due to injury, while his time in England ended two years later when he moved to Galatasaray, with whom he spent three seasons.

Kewell then moved on to Melbourne Victory in 2011 and a short spell with Qatar club Al-Gharafa followed before he returned to Australia, this time for the Victory's city rivals

The midfielder, who was named his country's greatest ever footballer in a vote by players, fans and journalists alike in 2012, is suffering with an abdominal strain and it remains to be seen if he will available for Heart before the season concludes against Western Sydney Wanderers on April 12.

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