David Pipe: Newport County defender to retire at end of season
Newport County defender David Pipe is to retire at the end of the season.
The 35-year-old has made more than 200 appearances for the Exiles during two spells with the club, captaining them to promotion to the Football League in 2013.
Pipe, who won his solitary Wales cap in 2003, had discussed joining Newport's coaching staff, but is instead setting up a gym for families and children.
"It's not a physical thing, it's more a mental thing," he said of his decision.
"I've been in football for 20 years. I came out of it in difficult circumstances and came back into it thanks to this football club, but I feel like I've been in it for 30 years rather than 20.
"I'll be making a clean cut from football at the end of this season.
"I genuinely feel I could play at this level, fitness-wise, for another two or three years - especially when I've been rested as much as I have since Christmas.
"But it probably boils down to being in it for so long. I'm proud of what I've achieved, but I like to have a bigger impact on things.
"It's not a personal thing against the club and it's not like I'm looking to go elsewhere for more money.
"Even if someone offered me treble the money, I'm not interested. It's not about that. I've got other things I'm pursuing."
'Newport gave me the opportunity'
Having started his career at Coventry City, Pipe had spells with Notts County, Bristol Rovers and Cheltenham Town.
But in 2010, he was jailed for 38 months for fracturing the skull of another man in an unprovoked attack in Bristol.
Following his release in 2011, Pipe joined Newport, who were then in the Conference Premier, now known as the National League.
"They gave me the opportunity when I came out of prison and I like to think I've repaid that," he added.
"I've been fortunate to be involved in every main thing that's happened to Newport County in the past eight years. I like to think I've made a big stamp on the club.
"A clean break will be tough, but I think I can handle it in the best way possible and there will be a lot of kids who will benefit from it.
"I've set up a gym to train kids over the last year or so and I'm one of those people that if I can't put everything into something, I struggle a bit.
"So I need to dedicate my passion into that now and take it into the next step of my life.
"As much as I'll miss football, you can't be half a professional footballer and half training kids. I need to make that step and that's what I'll be doing at the end of the season.
"I've got a gym in the Indoor Football Centre [in Newport]. They approached me to put something fitness-related in there and it's grown and grown.
"I can reach out to people who need a bit of help and it will be just as rewarding, just in a different way."