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Hines Ward has officially announced his retirement after a 14-year career with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The wide receiver was released at the end of last season and, after a deal of thought, decided that he did not want to play for any other NFL franchise.
Ward caught 1,000 passes for 12,083 yards and 85 touchdowns, all of them Steeler records with only Mike Webster (15 years) having represented the team for longer.
He helped the Steelers win the 2006 Super Bowl against Seattle, earning MVP honors, and was involved in their record sixth Super Bowl title when they beat Arizona in 2009.
"Today I'm officially retiring as a Pittsburgh Steeler, and as much as I will miss football, my teammates, coaches and the game, I don't want to play in any other uniform," an emotional Ward said.
"The black and gold runs deep in me and I will be a Steeler for life.
"You guys have given me the best years of my life. I will never forget that. Never."