Popular New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski announced his retirement today.
The 6ft 6 inch tall player, known as 'The Gronk', told his 3.1 million fans via Instagram.
His statement read: "It all started at 20 years old on stage at the NFL draft when my dream came true, and now here I am about to turn 30 in a few months with a decision I feel is the biggest of my life so far. I will be retiring from the game of football today. I am so grateful for the opportunity that Mr. Kraft and Coach Belichick gave to me when drafting my silliness in 2010. My life experiences over the last 9 years have been amazing both on and off the field. The people I have meet, the relationships I have built, the championships I have been apart of, I just want to thank the whole New England Patriots organization for every opportunity I have been giving and learning the great values of life that I can apply to mine. Thank you to all of Pats Nation around the world for the incredible support since I have been apart of this 1st class organization. Thank you for everyone accepting who I am and the dedication I have put into my work to be the best player I could be. But now its time to move forward and move forward with a big smile knowing that the New England Patriots Organization, Pats Nation, and all my fans will be truly a big part of my heart for rest of my life. It was truly an incredible honor to play for such a great established organization and able to come in to continue and contribute to keep building success. To all my current and past teammates, thank you for making each team every year special to be apart of. I will truly miss you guys. Cheers to all who have been part of this journey, cheers to the past for the incredible memories, and a HUGE cheers to the uncertain of whats next."
The 29-year-old's decision is somewhat surprising but he has suffered various injuries in recent seasons.
However, he has enjoyed a stunning career with the Patriots, Kronkowski was a second round draft pick for them out of the University of Arizona back in 2010.
The Patriots made at least the AFC Championship in each of Gronkowski's last nine seasons with the team and reached four Super Bowls, winning three of them.
In his final game, Gronkowski caught six passes for 87 yards in the Patriots' 13-3 victory over the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl 53.
The last catch of his NFL career was a 29-yard gain that set up the only touchdown of the game, a two-yard plunge by rookie running back Sony Michel.