ANDY Payton has decided he will never play League football again and he explained: "I would not want to finish my career at any club other than Burnley."

The Padiham Predator, scorer of 81 goals since arriving from Huddersfield five years ago, added: "I love this club and I don't have any regrets about the career I have had.

"There is no sadness and I am very positive about things. I came to Burnley when we were bottom of the second division and we are now a good first division side.

"As I leave the club we are stronger that when I joined and some people have short memories. We could be in a position like a couple of my former sides Huddersfield and Barnsley.

"I have been the top scorer at all the clubs I have been at, had a £750,00 move to Middlesbrough, played in Europe for Celtic and, best of all.

"There is no better place for me to finish my league career other than Burnley. I am not closing the door on non-League football but I know I don't want to play for another League club.

"It is a decision I have reached over the last few months when I have not had much action. In the past I have travelled long distances to play but I don't want to do that anymore."

And as the 35-year-old walked away from league football he was quick to pay tribute to his last gaffer, Stan Ternent, a man he claimed as a "massive influence" on his career.

"I was at Hull when he took over there but I knew him even before then because I knew his son Chris," explained Payton.

"It was Stan who first told me that Celtic were in for me and he also helped with my move to Barnsley. In reality he has had a very big impact on my career.

"Certainly I expected him to make changes when he came in at Burnley because we didn't have a right good team. From a personal point of view, once he got here all I wanted to do was get my head down and score a lot of goals for the club.

"I got 23 goals in his first year here and 27 when we went up and I got 15 goals in half a season when we were back in the first division.

"I have scored well over 200 goals in my career and look around the league there are not many players that can say that."

His manager Stan Ternent is convinced that Payton can still do a great job if a non-League club was to come in for him as he claimed: "Andy is one of the best strikers that Burnley Football Club has ever seen.

"His record speaks for itself and he has been a top class striker all his career, wherever he has played.

"He is a top class lad as well and I think the world of him but all good things have to come to an end.

"I had hoped he could lead the team out on Saturday, that would have been perfect, but he has decided what he wants to do and he wants people to remember him as he was.

"I just hope he will get the chance to show his appreciation to the fans before the game against Wednesday, know he wants to. I also hope they can turn up to show their appreciation to Andy.

"He has played a massive part in what has been achieved at this club in the last few years and his impact will never be forgotten."

On Saturday, at the Sheffield Wednesday game, Payton is looking forward to his chance to say farewell to the fans who have roared his name over recent seasons.

"They have been great to me and I want to thank them," he said. "The truth is I am one of them. The gaffer asked me if I would be skipper on the day but I did not think that was right.

"I have had my problems with injuries, have not merited a place in the side for the last two seasons and I am glad the young lads are now getting their chance."

But Saturday is certain to be an emotional afternoon for the natural born Claret as he takes his well deserved bow.