Former Carlisle United midfielder Luke Joyce has announced that he will be retiring from football in January.
Joyce is currently with Northern Premier League side Radcliffe, the same team which he has spent the last two seasons at, making over 70 appearances during that time.
However it was today announced via club media that Joyce would be retiring mid-season, with Radcliffe’s home fixture against Workington Town on the 6th of January being his last match as a player.
The midfielder has enjoyed a long and successful career, one in which has spanned a total of over 17 years. Despite beginning his career at then-Premier League side Wigan Athletic, Joyce would never be able to hold down a spot in the first-team, making just one appearance for the Latics and is recognised more so for his career in the EFL.
Following his departure he would move North in the first of one of two spells at Carlisle, in 2006 and would initially make 26 appearances in League One for the Cumbrians.
The 36-year-old is however far more well known for his second spell in a Blues shirt, where he would make 171 appearances in all competitions between 2015 and 2018. Joyce would spend his prime years with the Cumbrian club, helping them reach the League Two Play-Offs in the 2016/17 season. Although they would lose in the semi-finals to Exeter City it was still deemed a successful season for the Blues, with Joyce at the heart of the team.
Equally as well known during his time at Accrington, who he also helped reach the League Two Play-Offs, Joyce would make over 700 appearances in all completions during his career, also appearing for Port Vale, AFC Fylde and Barrow during that time.
Radcliffe announced that the sudden decision for Joyce’s retirement was due to the former-Cumbrian taking up a full-time position with Premier League side Brentford as their lead North scout.
The stability of the job can easily be deemed as the reason for the early-retirement and Joyce will now be looking to help future talent in the North make just as successful a career as he did.
Joyce was vital to Carlisle during his second spell at the club and became a bit of a cult hero due to both his longevity and injury record but also the consistency in his performance week-in-week-out.
It seems a bit of a no brainer for the 36-year-old to take up a full-time job in football, as for the past few seasons, he has not played at a level high enough to earn a steady and stable income. He will certainly be a role model for young players in the North and few will be lucky to have a career just as long as his.