SEAN Long has announced his immediate retirement from rugby league at the age of 34.
The former St Helens scrum-half has suffered a string of injuries since joining Hull last season.
A dislocated shoulder suffered in June’s clash with Hull KR has become the final straw for the three-time Lance Todd trophy winner, who has also suffered elbow, thumb and leg injuries during his time with the Black and Whites.
With Hull not forthcoming in offering him a deal beyond the end of the season, he is now planning a move into coaching and will announce where he will be doing so over the coming days.
“This isn’t the time I had planned to bow out or the way that I wanted to do it either,” Long said.
“Making this decision has been killing me. It isn’t how I wanted to end my career.
“It has been such a difficult decision, but an opportunity has come up and it is something I have to take now.
“I am disappointed I won’t get to see things through at Hull, especially with a new owner coming in. But I’ve not spoken to anyone, there is no deal on the table and I cannot afford to sit around waiting for a deal.
Long began his career with hometown Wigan but it was at arch-rivals St Helens where he made his name after being released following off-field controversy.
He joined Saints in 1997 after a brief stint at Widnes and enjoyed phenomenal success as the club went on to dominate Super League.
He featured in four title-winning sides and won the Lance Todd Trophy an unprecedented three times for man-of-the match performances in the Challenge Cup final.
He was also named Man of Steel in 2000 and other highlights included kicking drop goals to win the World Club Challenge in 2001 and Challenge Cup final the following year.
His glittering career, however, was often overshadowed by controversy.
He served a three-month ban after an investigation into betting irregularities in 2004 and prematurely quit the 2006 Tri-Nations series when on Great Britain duty.
He retired from international rugby league the following year after winning 14 caps.
He continued to excel for Saints but joined Hull on a two-year deal after defeat in the 2009 Super League Grand Final.
The move failed to yield further success as his time at the KC Stadium was marred by injuries.
He suffered his latest shoulder problem soon after returning to action from a broken thumb and with little chance of featuring again this season, he has decided to hang up his boots.