Former Great Britain forward and first State of Mind Ambassador Adrian Morley is to bring his 20-year playing career to an end.

Morley, who turned 38 in May, revealed he will retire at the end of the season in a press conference at Salford Red Devils’ AJ Bell Stadium this afternoon.

The front-row forward, who is the most capped England and Great Britain player of all time, will make what could be his final home appearance for Salford against Sheffield Eagles on Sunday and hang up his boots at the end of the month.

“I’ve been fortunate to have a long career but it’s time to call it a day,” Morley said.

“I’ve been a bit torn and I will miss it but you’ve got to finish at some point.

“The defining moment came the other week when we played Bradford. I hurt my neck and made my decision then.”

Morley, who will run out to a guard of honour by his team-mates on Sunday, is currently the only active player from the pre-Super League era, having begun his professional career with Leeds Rhinos in 1995.

He had a successful six-year spell in the NRL with Sydney Roosters before returning to Super League with Warrington Wolves in 2007. He led the Wolves to Challenge Cup final glory at Wembley three times in four years and captained them to a maiden Grand Final at Old Trafford in 2013 before completing a move to his home-town club.

Morley led the Red Devils in 2014 and, although he handed over the captaincy to Harrison Hansen this year, he has maintained a regular place in the team, having missed only six matches in his two seasons at the AJ Bell Stadium.

He became the first man to win a Grand Final on both sides of the world after joining Bradford Bulls for a brief loan spell in 2005 but may be best remembered for his dismissal just 12 seconds into Great Britain’s Test match against Australia at Wigan in 2003.

Morley, who made 23 appearances for England and won 30 caps for Great Britain, will bow out shortly before his former international team-mate Jamie Peacock, 37, who made the decision last year to hang up his boots at the end of the 2015 season.

Peacock, who is hoping to bow out in the Grand Final with Leeds at Old Trafford in October, is staying in rugby league as general manager of Hull KR.

Morley, too, plans to maintain his involvement in the game as an ambassador for Salford.

Peacock, who played alongside Morley throughout most of his international career, said: “It has been a privilege to play alongside a true great of the game.

“He is the toughest player I have ever had to compete against.”

Salford director of rugby Tim Sheens said: “Adrian is a tremendous character on and off the field.

“I knew him from Sydney and what sort of competitor he was when we played them. It’s been a pleasure to be involved with him here at Salford and hopefully we can help him in the next stage of his life.”

State of Mind would like to wish Adrian all the very best in the next phase of his career
MOz selfie