Zdenek Grygera has thanked Fulham for their support during his long and ultimately unsuccessful battle with a knee injury.
Grygera sustained the injury in a match against Tottenham in November 2011, and was initially only predicted to be sidelined for six months, but has now been forced to retire from football.
Despite only signing for the club last summer, the Czech, who won 65 caps for his country, admits he built a huge bond with the club, and will remain a Fulham supporter.
“I have to say thank you very much to Fulham,” he told the club’s official website. “Thank you to the medical staff and to everyone.
"I felt that there was a family atmosphere here and everyone was very friendly towards me and that made things a lot easier for me because I have been injured for more than one year and sometimes that can be hard.
“So for this I would like to thank everyone; the manager, the club, the directors.
"I hope to come back to visit Fulham in the springtime and many times after that to see everyone. I will go on being a supporter of Fulham.
“Also, I want to say thank you to the fans.
"Every match when I come to Craven Cottage, the people stop me on the street and ask me how my recovery is going and how my injury is and whether I am close to signing a new contract.
“I told them that I was doing well but I needed time. So I am disappointed and my supporters will be disappointed but, for me, the important thing now is to be fit.
"I’m still young; 32, almost 33, so my fitness is important for the rest of my life. I don’t want to take the risk of playing one or two games when my legs are not ready, which is the case at the moment."