Former Saints striker Kevin Phillips has announced his retirement from football after helping Leicester City win promotion to the Premier League.
The 40-year-old, who started his career at Saints as a trainee and then returned to the club in 2003, joined the Foxes in January and made 10 appearances as ex-Saints boss Nigel Pearson’s side sauntered to the Championship title.
Phillips, who will face off against Saints next season as part of Pearson’s coaching staff, won eight England caps during his long playing caeer and was the last Englishman to win the Premier League's Golden Boot, scoring 30 goals for Sunderland in 1999-2000.
The striker will make his final appearance for the Foxes on Saturday before bringing his 20-year career in football to an end.
Phillips, who also counts Watford, Aston Villa, West Brom, Birmingham, Blackpool and Crystal Palace among his former clubs, said: “After 20 amazing years as a professional footballer, I’ve decided to announce my retirement.
“After scoring the winner to get Crystal Palace promoted at the end of last season there were a few voices in the back of my head saying ‘maybe I should retire now’. But I decided to continue for another season for the chance to play in the Premier League as a 40-year-old.
“I managed to do that earlier in this campaign – joining an exclusive group of three other players who have played in the Premier League as 40-year-olds – but now the time is right.
“After a lot of consideration and time spent talking with my family, the Leicester manager Nigel Pearson and my agent, I think the time has come. I turn 41 in July and I just feel now, with sore ankles and the way my body is, it’s not going to get any easier.
“All my family will be at the King Power Stadium this weekend and it’s going to be emotional. However, although it’s going to be a strange feeling leaving the pitch for the final time as a player, now’s the right time.”