At the age of 34, the enigmatic Craig Bellamy has decided to call it a day on his impressive footballing career. Despite his considerable talents, the nomadic and sometimes chaotic nature of his career means Bellamy never stayed at a club long enough to build legendary status at a particular club, though everywhere he went fans have memorable memories of him.
Altogether, Bellamy played for nine clubs (Norwich City, Coventry City, Newcastle United, Celtic, Blackburn Rovers, Liverpool, West Ham United, Manchester City and finally Cardiff City) and holds the record for becoming the first Premier League player to score for seven different clubs.
Whilst something of a prodigy at Norwich and Coventry, Newcastle was where Bellamy made a name for himself. His electric pace alongside the strength of Alan Shearer and the constant deliveries from Gary Speed, Kieron Dyer, Laurent Robert and Nolberto Solano turned Newcastle into title contenders for this first time in half a decade.
His greatest moments in a Newcastle shirt came when he won the PFA Young Player of the Year and scored a double against Feyenoord to put Newcastle into the last 16 of the Champions League (then the second group stage).
A move the following season to Blackburn reinvigorated the Welshman as he delivered what would be seen as his best season as a professional footballer.
At Liverpool and Manchester City in particular, Bellamy grew a reputation for scoring goals in important matches. Barcelona (for Liverpool in the last 16 of the Champions League), Manchester United (in the Premier League for Man City) and ironically, Man City (for Liverpool in the semi's of the Carling Cup) were the casualties of Bellamy strikes.
He told Wales Online the reasons for announcing his retirement earlier today: "I've had to listen to my body."
"I guess over the years I've become accustomed to the pain from various injuries, but for the last three to four years I've been on anti-inflammatories every day."
"I'm not sure my body will think that's a wise thing in due course, but it kept me playing for that period. However, the time has come to stand aside and say enough. My body can't take anymore."
He also had this to say on Cardiff: "When Cardiff got promoted, it was the sense of achievement with my hometown club that meant most to me, rather than being able to play another season in the Premier League," he said.
"I had performed at that level for 12 years anyway, the goal of getting Cardiff up there meant more to me than actually playing there again myself.
"But I spoke to Malky Mackay (the manager at the time) and he talked me around for one last challenge. I wasn't sure I could offer too much."
He also hinted that he'd be joining the likes of fellow countryman Ryan Giggs into management: "I've got A, B and C, I just need to do the pro-licence which will prepare me properly for management,"
Finally, in a bid to silence his critics who have jabbed at him throughout his career for his fiery behaviour, Bellamy stated: "I've been an angry young man at times".
"I think that anger I've displayed has been channelled into making me a better player. It gave me determination to get through those many injury problems.
"I was always far more at ease with myself as a player during the last couple of years with Cardiff.
"If truth be known, I got little enjoyment for large parts of my career. In hindsight, I needed to reflect more, be proud of what I did.
"Instead, I set myself unrealistic targets at times. But in the last couple of years I've been more proud, able to step back, enjoy my accomplishments. Why? Because my mind was in a good place."