Friday 27 April 2018

Peyton Manning calls time on 18-year NFL career

Peyton Manning
Peyton Manning

Peyton Manning has announced the end of his 18-year National Football League career.

The 39-year-old quarterback, a five-time winner of the league's Most Valuable Player award, guided the Denver Broncos to victory in Super Bowl 50 last month when they beat the Carolina Panthers 24-10.

"When you look at everything Peyton has accomplished as a player and person, it's easy to see how fortunate we've been to have him on our team," Broncos executive vice-president of football operations and general manager John Elway told the team's website.

Manning spent his final four seasons in Denver but the prime of his career came in 14 years at Indianapolis where he led the Colts to two Super Bowls, winning the trophy in 2006.

New Orleans-born Manning was also a Super Bowl MVP, a 14-time Pro Bowl selection and a seven-time first-team All-Pro.

His teams made the play-offs in 15 of his 18 seasons, and he reached the 4,000-yard passing mark in 14 seasons.

Manning missed the 2011 season following neck operations before finding a new NFL home at Denver, sparking a run of success in which the Broncos posted a league-high 55 total wins and a .764 winning percentage.

The Broncos made their third consecutive play-off appearance under Manning in 2014 and that season he became the league's all-time leader in touchdown passes, passing Brett Favre with his 509th touchdown.

Manning tore tissue in his left foot in his final season, but he made a remarkable return in week 17 to revive the Broncos' struggling offence against the San Diego Chargers and ultimately lead Denver to Super Bowl glory.

"Peyton was everything that we thought he was and even more - not only for the football team but in the community," said Elway.

"I'm very thankful Peyton chose to play for the Denver Broncos, and I congratulate him on his Hall of Fame career."

Manning ends his career as the NFL's record holder in career touchdown passes, with 539, and in passing yards, a total of 71,940.

He also holds single-season records in passing touchdowns, with 55, and passing yards - 5,477 - and is the only quarterback to lead two teams to a Super Bowl victory.

Broncos head coach Gary Kubiak said: "It was a blessing to coach Peyton Manning.

"Nobody worked harder at the game and nobody prepared harder than Peyton.

"His preparation was the best I've ever seen with how he went about his business. There was nothing like his work habits.

"Each and every week, he did everything he could to get ready to play not only against the defence but even against the co-ordinator.

"After competing against Peyton many, many times, I already had great respect for him.

"But being with him this season, going through what we went through and accomplishing what we accomplished - that was special.

"He and I battled together and along the way we talked about dreaming that it could end the way it ended. And I'll be damned, it did.

"Peyton and I will have some interesting stories throughout the rest of our lives to talk about going through this year together.

"He's a Hall of Fame player and a Hall of Fame person."

Press Association

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