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Ayre lauds 'colossal' Carragher

Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre has hailed Jamie Carragher as "selfless" and "a colossal figure" after the defender announced his plan to retire at the end of the season.

•  Carragher's career in pictures Photo Gallery

Carragher, 35, is leaving Anfield after more than a quarter of a century with the club he joined as a nine-year-old - and Ayre has refused to rule out finding another role at the club for the centre-back.

The defender, who made his debut in January 1997, has played 723 times for Liverpool, placing him second only to Ian Callaghan on the club's all-time appearance list.

Carragher stated that he had decided to announce his retirement now in order to save manager Brendan Rodgers and other club staff from having to answer questions about his future plans.

Ayre told Liverpool's website: "It speaks volumes about Jamie's selfless nature that even the manner of this announcement is putting the team and the club before himself. It's what he's done throughout his entire career.

"He told me he didn't want the manager or myself fending off questions regarding his future when he had already made his decision. Jamie's focus, like ours, is on finishing the season as strongly as possible.

"Everyone within the game knows that Jamie Carragher has been a colossal figure for Liverpool Football Club.

"You don't have a career spanning three decades at the very top of this game unless you are an exceptional player and what's more, he epitomises the values this club was built on and continues to stand for.

"In line with Jamie's wishes, we will wait until the season concludes before giving him the true recognition he deserves.

"We will also wait until that time to comment further regarding what involvement he may have with the club going forward."

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