Exeter's Marcus Stewart to retire after Rovers game

Exeter City striker Marcus Stewart has announced he will retire after Saturday's game at Bristol Rovers, the club where he began his career.

The 38-year-old has made 782 appearances during his time as a professional, scoring 254 goals.

Stewart told BBC Spotlight: "I've been in the game 20 years and spent have spent all of my life playing football.

"So there's no other place to retire other than the club that you started off at as a kid."

He continued: "I was at Bristol Rovers for almost 10 years which is the most time I spent at any club in my career, and I'm Bristolian, so of course it's nice to finish off where you started."

After leaving Bristol Rovers, Stewart spent four years at Huddersfield from where moves to Ipswich and Sunderland followed between 2000-05, a period he views as one of the best of his career.

"Playing in the Premier League - everyone wants to do that," he said.

"Scoring in Europe and the Uefa Cup was great, while making a debut for every club I played for was also a special feeling, and the final milestone for me was getting to 250 goals and luckily I got to 254 so I'm happy about that."

With Exeter's League One safety all but assured for another season, Stewart has decided the time has now come to focus on his coaching career.

"I've been stepping my responsibilities up every season and this season has seen me doing 70% coaching and 30% playing when needed which has not been loads," he said.

"We've got five or six games left and it gives us the chance to look at one or two younger lads and one or two lads whose contracts are up as well."