Chelmsford City defender Elliott Ward has announced his retirement from playing.
The 36-year-old was part of the West Ham side promoted to the Premier League under Alan Pardew in 2005.
He would get a second taste of top-flight football with Paul Lambert’s Norwich City in 2011/12.
Ward joined Chelmsford last February, managed by ex-Coventry City teammate Robbie Simpson, and would take on the role of academy assistant manager over the summer.
Simpson told the Clarets’ website: “I just can’t speak highly enough of him as a player but more importantly as a person, and I’ve got no doubt that his coaching career is going to take off.
“Hopefully, we can be that platform for him to stay with us and help us grow, as well as him developing as a coach as well.
“I’m really looking forward to keeping Wardy around the place.”