South Shields midfielder Julio Arca has decided to retire from football with immediate effect.

South Shields FC

The move brings an end to the 37-year-old’s illustrious career, which included spells at Sunderland and Middlesbrough before a trophy-laden three years with South Shields. He has opted to retire in order to spend more time with his young family, as the travel, match, and training commitments are becoming more challenging.

The club do remain in discussions with him as to a potential non-playing role. Arca joined the Mariners in September 2015, and has won three league titles, three promotions and six trophies during his time with the club.

Club chairman Geoff Thompson said: “Julio has been an inspirational figure since joining the club almost three years ago. He has played a key role in transforming the club’s fortunes and provided some unforgettable moments, and we cannot thank him enough for his incredible efforts.

“Everyone at the club hoped he would be able to continue his playing career for one more year, but we are fully respectful of his decision, which has been made for family reasons. He ends his playing days having won a league title in each of his three seasons here, and departs with his powers undimmed.

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