FORMER Wales international David Pipe has revealed that he will retire at the end of the season.

The 35-year-old has played 205 times for Newport County AFC in two spells at the club since first moving to Spytty Park in 2011.

Pipe has made 25 appearances this season and he feels he is fit enough to continue playing, but he’s opted instead to hang up his boots at the end of the current campaign to concentrate on life outside football.

“It’s not a physical thing, it’s more a mental thing,” said the veteran defender.

“I’ve been in football for 20 years. I came out of it in difficult circumstances and came back into it thanks to this football club, but I feel like I’ve been in it for 30 years rather than 20.

“So I’ll be making a clean cut from football at the end of this season.

“I genuinely feel I could play at this level, fitness-wise, for another two or three years – especially when I’ve been rested as much as I have since Christmas.

“But it probably boils down to being in it for so long. I’m proud of what I’ve achieved but I like to have a bigger impact on things.

“It’s not a personal thing against the club and it’s not like I’m looking to go elsewhere for more money,” he added.

“Even if someone offered me treble the money I’m not interested. It’s not about that. I’ve got other things I’m pursuing.

“I’ve set up a gym to train kids over the last year or so and I’m one of those people that if I can’t put everything into something, I struggle a bit.

“So I need to dedicate my passion into that now and take it into the next step of my life, realistically.

“As much as I’ll miss football, you can’t be half a professional footballer and half training kids.

“I need to make that step and that’s what I’ll be doing at the end of the season.”

South Wales Argus:

Born in Caerphilly, Pipe started his career at Coventry City and won his one cap for Wales in a friendly against the USA in 2003 before moving on to Notts County and Bristol Rovers.

He was jailed for wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm in 2010 and rebuilt his career in Newport after his release the following year.

Pipe helped County avoid relegation from the Conference in 2012 and to reach the FA Trophy final in the same year.

In 2013 he captained the Exiles to promotion to League Two, lifting the play-off final trophy at Wembley after victory over Wrexham.

After departing in 2014 for Forest Green Rovers, he returned in January 2017 to play a big part in the club’s Great Escape from relegation and the recent FA Cup success.

And he'd love to end his career with another promotion via the play-offs next month.

South Wales Argus:

“I’m really proud of what I achieved during my career," he said.

“The dream would be to get into the play-offs and getting through them with Wembley being my last game. If you were to write something perfect then that’s what I’d write.

“I haven’t quite got the pen to make sure that de finitely happens, but I’ll have an influence on trying to make it happen.

“What’s happened in the last five or six years has been surreal – me leaving, coming back, the Great Escape and more.

“The bullet points, if you listed them all, then I’ve been fortunate enough to be involved in every major thing that has happened at Newport County AFC during that time.

“I’d like to think I’ve left a big stamp on the club and the feeling is mutual. This club gave me an opportunity and I’d like to think I’ve repaid that.”