HUNGERFORD TOWN defender Gary Horgan has decided to retire after helping the club up to Step 2 of the Non-League Pyramid for the first time.
The veteran, 39, originally played for the Crusaders in the late 1990s but returned in August 2012 after serving as player-manager of Swindon Supermarine.
Horgan’s return coincided with Hungerford’s rise from Step 4 to the National League South – winning promotion through the play-offs in the Southern South & West in 2013 before a similar achievement in the Southern Premier last term.
The defender has now officially retired and Bobby Wilkinson’s men will have to navigate Step 2 without him after a great start to the season.
A club statement read: “Gary Horgan has decided to hang his boots up having been instrumental in the prolific rise of the Crusaders through the leagues, eventually to National League status.
“Gary has been a guiding force both on and off of the pitch. Not only being instrumental marking and outwitting some of the best wingers and strikers in the leagues but also being a major inspirational leader in the dressing room.
“Gary was presented with a signed shirt from all of the Crusaders and everybody wished him the very best of luck for the future but it will leave a big hole as regards to the club’s spirit and we hope he will keep involved with the club.”
Horgan tweeted: “Huge thank you to everyone at Hungerford Town! Genuinely touched by your kind words and gifts. Great club, great future! #Retirement”