Published: 12:00, 30 September 2020
| Updated: 14:39, 30 September 2020
Gillingham’s former captain Gabriel Zakuani has announced his retirement from the game.
The defender played 69 league games for the Gills towards the end of a successful playing career that also saw him captain his country, the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Announcing his decision to retire from professional football on social media, the 34-year-old said he was going to concentrate on coaching and media work.
He said: “I feel it is the right time. I am 34 years old, I started the game really early, playing first team football at 16 and I feel I have achieved everything I set out to achieve for my ability.
“I improved greatly throughout my career and won a lot of things, everything there was possible to win in the Football League. After a very successful career and international career I feel I have given everything that was possible to give to football. I have left it all on the pitch, I have given everything.”
He once cost Fulham £1m when they signed him from Leyton Orient, where he had enjoyed promotion, and was then part of Tony Pulis’ Stoke City team that won a place in the Premier League
Zakuani went onto become a major part of Peterborough United’s recent history, enjoying two promotions with them, as they went back and forth to the Championship.
A move to Gillingham followed a spell with Northampton Town and at the start of the 2018/19 campaign he was handed the captaincy under Steve Lovell.
His season ended in the February of that campaign following a nasty injury having collided with Barnsley’s Kieffer Moore. He never played for the Gills again as he left the club in September 2019, mutually agreeing to terminate his contract. Current manager Steve Evans was not long in the job.
He ended up at Swindon on a short-term deal, after making a plea on social media for a team down south to make him an offer, before ending up at Dagenham, where he played once back in January, suffering an ankle injury in that game.
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