Hibernian defender Darren McGregor has announced his retirement from playing.
The 37-year-old made 188 appearances for the club he supported as a youngster – despite only joining the professional game aged 24 – after joining from Rangers and lifted the Scottish Cup in 2016.
He will now take up a role as manager of the Easter Road side’s under-18 team having worked with the development squad this season.
His last appearance as a player for Hibs came in the 4-0 win over St Johnstone on the final day of last season.
He told the club’s website: “It has been an absolute privilege to live my dream of playing for Hibs.
“It has been an honour to play for the club that I have grown up supporting all my life and I am so thankful to have been given that first opportunity at the age of 30.
“I never imagined going on to have the career that I have had and to win the Scottish Cup was just the pinnacle.”
McGregor started his career at Cowdenbeath, but dropped into the junior game with Arniston Rangers for two years before rejoining the Fife club in 2008.
He later moved to St Mirren, where two cruciate ligament injuries made him miss almost two seasons of action prior to signing for Rangers in 2014.
He was voted the Ibrox club’s player of the season for the 2014/15 campaign, but was released by incoming manager Mark Warburton, allowing him to join Hibs on a free transfer.
McGregor netted his first goal for the club away to Raith Rovers in the fourth round of the Scottish Cup as Hibs went on to lift the trophy for the first time in 114 years with a 3-2 win over Rangers at Hampden.
He had spent the last year working alongside youth coaches Gareth Evans and academy head Steve Kean and will now use his coaching experience to bring through Easter Road’s stars of the future.
“This last year has been really beneficial for me to make that gradual transition from playing to coaching and I have learned a lot from the likes of Gareth, Steve and a lot of the other coaches here at the club,” he said.
“Now, I am delighted to be able to stay at the club and take that next step in my career – helping to develop the next generation of future first team players through coaching the U18s next season.”
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