Joe Ledley: Ex-Wales, Cardiff City, Celtic and Crystal Palace midfielder retires

Joe Ledley performs his trademark dance routine after Wales' Euro 2016 victory over Belgium
Joe Ledley performs his trademark dance routine after Wales’ Euro 2016 victory over Belgium

Former Wales international midfielder Joe Ledley has announced his retirement at the age of 34.

Ledley played almost 550 club games, scoring 69 goals, in a 17-year senior career.

He came through the ranks at Cardiff City and had spells with Celtic, Crystal Palace, Derby, Charlton, Newcastle Jets and Newport County.

“I’ve had an amazing and wonderful journey but today sadly it’s time to hang up my boots,” Ledley said.

Cardiff-born Ledley won 77 international caps, featuring in every game of Wales’ memorable run to the Euro 2016 semi-finals and establishing himself as a favourite among fans.

He helped Cardiff to the 2008 FA Cup final and 2010 Championship play-off final, playing more than 250 times for the Bluebirds in all before joining Celtic in 2010.

Ledley won three Scottish league titles and a Scottish Cup with the Hoops before moving to the Premier League with Palace in 2014.

After three and a half years at Selhurst Park, Ledley spent just over two years at Derby before brief spells with Charlton, Australian side Newcastle and Newport, where he made his final appearance in April 2021.

“Playing in play-off and FA cup finals at Wembley [for Cardiff] are moments I will never forget,” Ledley wrote on Instagram.external-link

“The highest of highs to the lowest of lows with a club that is so close to my heart.

“Signing for Celtic was a true highlight, an amazingly unique football club. There was no better feeling than winning trophies for arguably the most passionate fans in the world – cherished memories.

“I achieved more than I could have ever imagined, but the time came to follow another dream and play in the Premier League. Crystal Palace opened the door for that. Playing against and alongside some of the best players in the game. Amazing.”

Ledley, whose most recent international cap came in 2018, added: “Then there is Wales, my beloved Wales.

“I can never imagine retiring from international football, so I will forever remain available!”

BBC News

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