James Morrison: Former Scotland midfielder retires from playing at 33

James Morrison
Morrison won his final cap against Slovakia in 2017

Former Scotland midfielder James Morrison has retired from playing at the age of 33 to take an academy coaching role at West Bromwich Albion.

Morrison had been without a club since leaving WBA in June after 341 games in 12 years, mostly in the Premier League.

The Darlington-born playmaker represented England up to Under-20 level, but then scored three goals in 46 games after switching to Scotland.

"It's been really hard to make this decision," said Morrison.

"Football has been my life for so long. It's difficult to say goodbye to that.

"The opportunity to return to this club to begin some coaching has helped me come to terms with my playing days coming to an end."

Morrison will work with the Baggies' Under-16s, Under-18s and Under-23 sides in his new role.

Having turned down interest from clubs keen to prolong his playing days, Morrison hinted to BBC Scotland in September that he was ready to retire rather than drop below English Championship level.

After switching allegiance to Scotland, for whom he was eligible to play for through his grandfather, Morrison made his debut in a 3-1 defeat in the Czech Republic in May 2008.

He earned his final cap in October 2017 when Slovakia were beaten 1-0 in a World Cup qualifier at Hampden.

At club level, he rose through Middlesbrough's youth ranks to play 97 times for the first team, including an appearance in the 2006 Uefa Cup final.

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