Former Burnley midfielder Dale Stephens has announced his retirement from the professional game at the age of 33.

Stephens joined the Clarets from Brighton in 2020 and went on to make 14 appearances for the club in total.

He has been without a club since his departure from Turf Moor last summer following relegation from the Premier League.

The midfielder is best known for a six-year spell at Brighton, playing more than 200 games in total for the Seagulls.

Stephens took to social media to confirm the news and thanked everyone who has helped him along the way.

The 33-year-old wrote on his Twitter page: “Today I have the privilege of retiring from playing professional football after 16 years.

“I am incredibly fortunate and proud to have represented some fantastic football clubs 416 times across every tier of English football, competing against some of the best players in the world.

“I will be forever grateful for the opportunity and the memories of representing you: Bury, Rochdale, Oldham Athletic, Southampton, Charlton Athletic, Brighton & Hove Albion and Burnley.

“From the managers and the coaches that taught me, the physios that helped me, my team-mates who inspired me and the supporters who backed me every week. Without you I wouldn’t be writing this statement. Thank you!

“Most importantly, my amazing family’s dedication and support. You made it possibly for me to play the game I dreamed of.”

He added: “The amazing journey fulfilled me every day, from the elation of success to the challenges of injuries, it was all worth it.”

Former Burnley team-mate James Tarkowski was among the players who paid tribute to Stephens on social media.

He wrote: “Congrats pal. Honour of sharing a dressing room at the start and the end of jour journey. All the best!”

Clarets on social, plus take out a subscription...

Keep up to date with our Burnley coverage on social media by joining us on Facebook and Twitter

Gain unlimited access to the Lancashire Telegraph website with a premium digital subscription

Or if you want the Telegraph newspaper delivered to your door, get in touch with our home delivery team or call us on 0800 953 0227