FORMER Oldham Athletic loanee Lee Grant has retired at the age of 39.

The goalkeeper ended his career at Manchester United, having signed from Stoke City for £1.5million in the summer of 2018.

Grant has made over 500 career appearances, but played only twice for United in four seasons after going to occupy a back-up role at Old Trafford.

However, he became the club’s most senior European debutant of all time, at the age of 36 years and 305 days, when he was named in the line-up for a Europa League group-stage game away to FC Astana.

Having begun his professional career at Derby County, Grant started the 2005 season for the Rams with a League Cup appearance against Grimsby Town, but went on to join Burnley on loan.

The stopper made only one appearance for the Clarets, though, with Danny Coyne and Brian Jensen ahead of him in the pecking order.

Grant then went on to finish that season with Latics in League One, making 16 appearances and keeping four clean sheets as the club secured a 10th placed finish.

After three years with Sheffield Wednesday he then returned to Turf Moor, and made over 120 appearances in three years before returning to Derby County on a free transfer at the end of his contract.

Grant then made a £1.3million move to Stoke before he was snapped up by United for £1.5m the following summer.

Grant, who was effectively an additional goalkeeper coach at United, is now expected to pursue a career in coaching after confirming he would no longer be a professional player anymore.

“After 511 appearances, I’ve decided it’s the right time to move into the next stage of my career," he said.

“There have been so many fun moments mixed in with the odd challenge, but I’m grateful for each and every one.

“Fulfilling a boyhood dream of playing for Manchester United was something I thought was out of reach, so to have achieved that fills me with great pride and emotion!

“Although I haven’t played as many games in the last four years, I’ve given everything to the group every single day on the training pitch and in the dressing room. The opportunity to join the biggest club in the world was one I could never turn down and I’m so grateful for the lessons learned and the friends I’ve gained.

“The opportunity to challenge, set standards and ultimately learn from some truly exceptional players and staff has been so valuable."

Grant added: “I’ve been extremely fortunate to play for some amazing clubs, Derby County, Oldham Athletic, Sheffield Wednesday, Burnley, Stoke City and now to finish at the pinnacle – Manchester United. I’m thankful to each and every club for what they have given to me, each one has shaped me into who I am. The relationship with the supporters of these great clubs will always be one of my most treasured memories.

“There are too many incredible football people to thank as I’ve received untold amounts of help from so many special people over the last 23 years. I do however want to say a huge thank you to my family and in particular my wife, Helen, for moving around the country with me, allowing me to pursue my dream. Football has given me so much, but it can also be tough on partners and children. Without them it would never have been possible to achieve what I did.

“As I move into the next stage of my career, I’m excited and hungry about the beginning of a new journey and the hard work that lies ahead!”