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Former Reading captain Jobi McAnuff announces retirement

Former Reading captain Jobi McAnuff announces retirement
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The midfielder took charge of Leyton Orient's final 16 fixtures this season while also still playing.

Jobi McAnuff has retired from professional football after leaving his role as Leyton Orient player-manager.

The former Jamaica international announced his decision following the O's 3-0 loss at Salford on Saturday, which saw them finish the season in 11th place.

McAnuff had taken charge of Orient's final 16 fixtures while also playing in midfield and now brings an end to a professional career which started at Wimbledon in 2000.

The 39-year-old, who captained Reading to promotion to the Premier League nine years ago, featured in the top five divisions of English football and played for West Ham, Cardiff, Crystal Palace, Watford, Stevenage and Orient in two separate spells.

In a statement on Instagram, McAnuff, who also represented Jamaica on 32 occasions, said: "After 20 seasons and nearly 800 career games, the time has finally come to announce my retirement.

"It's been a tough decision but my body and mind have finally had enough of the rigours of day to day football and I definitely feel now is the right time to hang the boots up.

"I've put in a lot of work over the last few years to make sure I was as prepared as I could be for this day and I look forward confidently and excitedly to the next phase of my professional life."

McAnuff's final playing appearance was during Orient's 3-2 home defeat to Carlisle on May 1, almost 20 years after his Wimbledon debut against Norwich on August 25, 2001 in the old First Division.

The O's confirmed they have started the process of finding a new manager, with director of football Martin Ling in contact with potential candidates.

A statement read: "The club's search for a replacement manager will focus on candidates with experience in management at both League Two and League One level as we undertake a programme of rebuilding the squad with the ambition of achieving promotion next season."

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Jobi McAnuff of Leyton Orient looks to get past Jordan Turnball of Swindon during the Sky Bet League One match between Leyton Orient and Swindon Town at The Matchroom Stadium on October 04, 2014
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