Former Blackpool, Swansea City, Bolton Wanderers and Crystal Palace man announces his retirement

Former Blackpool and Fleetwood Town man Stephen Dobbie has announced his retirement at the age of 39.

Wednesday, 25th May 2022, 12:18 pm

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During that time, Dobbie coached Fylde’s Under-18 side and he fully intends to pursue a career in the dugout now his playing time has come to an end.

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In a statement announcing his retirement, Dobbie said: “At the ripe old age of 39 and after 23 years of professional football, the time has finally come to hang up my boots and pursue a career in coaching.

“Football is deep rooted in my heart and my passion for the beautiful game will never fade.

“I have realised from managing my U18s over this last season at AFC Fylde that my love for playing on the pitch is equally matched to managing from the sidelines.

“My passion is now to lead. My drive and determination that allowed me to succeed in my playing career now fuels me from the dugout.

Dobbie was part of the Blackpool side that won promotion to the Premier League in 2010

“Watching my U18s become the most successful team in the academy’s history by winning three cup finals has been amazing and I finally feel ready to leave my playing days behind me for coaching.”

Dobbie enjoyed four separate spells with the Seasiders between 2010 and 2014 and will forever be remembered for his role in helping the club reach the Premier League.

Based in Lytham, the forward also spent a brief spell with Fleetwood, having also represented a number of clubs north and south of the border.

The Scot began his career as a youngster with Rangers, before going on to play for the likes of Hibernian, St Johnstone and Queen of the South.

Dobbie left Scotland to sign for Swansea City in 2009, before representing Brighton, Crystal Palace and Bolton Wanderers.

The Glaswegian ended his playing career in the National League North with Fylde after plundering goals for former club Queen of the South during a five-year stay.

Looking back on his career, Dobbie said: “From Scotland’s League Two all the way to the English Premier League, I grafted through nearly every level of the game.

“I made strong relationships with all the clubs that I have played at, however in particular Queen of the South, Swansea City and Blackpool deserve special mentions and will forever hold very special places in my heart.

“The staff and fans from each club really welcomed me and my family with open arms and for that I will always be forever grateful.

“These clubs didn’t feel like an ‘employer’, but like a family and made a huge impact on my playing career and also my life outside of football.”

Dobbie also pinpointed Blackpool’s 2010 Wembley triumph as one of his career highlights while naming Ian Holloway as one of the managers who influenced him most, as well as former Swansea boss Brendan Rodgers.

Since making his debut in 2002, Dobbie made over 500 career appearances, scoring 169 times.