Sam Allardyce gave strong hints that a managerial career in England which began at Blackpool 23 years ago has ended with his shock resignation from Crystal Palace.
The 62-year-old steered Palace to Premier League safety, having taken charge at Christmas following his ill-fated one-match reign as England boss.
Allardyce’s first permanent managerial post in this country came at Bloomfield Road in 1994, following a successful stint in Ireland with Limerick and a caretaker role at Preston North End.
He was sacked by Blackpool two years later, following defeat by Bradford City in the Second Division (now League One) play-offs.
Allardyce went on to manage Notts County, Bolton, Blackburn, West Ham and Sunderland as well as Palace, assisted at several of those clubs by another former Blackpool boss, Neil McDonald, the new Limerick manager.
Allardyce dropped broad hints that he would not be returning to management in last night’s resignation statement.
He said: “I want to be able to savour life while I’m still relatively young and when I’m still relatively healthy, even if I’m beginning to feel all my 62 years.
“While I’ve got the energy, I want to travel and also spend more time with my family and grandchildren without the huge pressure that comes with being a football manager. I owe that to my wife and family.
“This is the right time for me, I know that in my heart. I have no ambitions to take another job, I simply want to be able to enjoy all the things you cannot really enjoy with the 24/7 demands of managing any football club, let alone one in the Premier League.
“Steve Parish has been superb during our conversations today. I know it came as a shock to him that I would walk away but our discussions have been incredibly civilised with no recriminations and no fall-out.
“This is not about transfer targets, club finances or anything along those lines. This is me taking the decision I believe is right for my family and myself.
“I would like to thank everybody for their messages of support since the news broke. I’ve no doubt I will miss management but I certainly have no regrets at this decision.”