Promotion winning former City defender retires
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images
Former Norwich City defender Elliott Ward has announced his retirement from football after a career spanning 18 years.
The towering defender spent three years at Carrow Road and played a pivotal role in helping the Canaries reach the Premier League back in 2011.
Ward joined City on a free transfer in May 2010 from Coventry and was a mainstay at the back during a successful campaign for Paul Lambert's men in the Championship. The former West Ham trainee made 39 appearances in that promotion campaign, scoring once.
He also featured in City's top-flight campaign, even captaining them on two occasions against Newcastle and Liverpool. Injury saw his spell at Norwich cut short, with Ward then joining Nottingham Forest on loan. Chris Hughton then decided not to name him in his 25-man Premier League squad.
Ward left Carrow Road upon the expiration of his contract in 2013 and joined Bournemouth, helping them to gain promotion to the Championship under Eddie Howe.
Since the defender has represented Blackburn, Notts County, Cambridge United and Chelmsford City. He has now started his coaching career at the Essex non-league outfit. Ward made 374 appearances as a professional footballer, with 55 arriving whilst in Norfolk.
In a post on his LinkedIn account announcing his retirement, Ward said: "Today I say goodbye to my playing career and look forward to coaching the future generation.
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"I have been fortunate to have worked with some great teammates, coaches & managers at so many clubs so to them I thank you for being a massive part of my journey and success. There’s been many ups & plenty of downs but without them all, I wouldn’t have half the story to tell.
"After being told at 18 I may have to retire I am very proud to go on & create history with some of my clubs, to also get to 36 & finish on my terms is a massive blessing.
"I’ll miss kicking a bag of air around for a living but I have had an absolute blast. Thanks for the memories."