Current United manager Steven Pressley was one of the first to heap praise on defender Danny Grainger when it was revealed that he’d made the decision to bring an end to his playing career as the current season draws to a close.
“He’s been a fantastic ambassador, not just on the pitch but with his community work as well,” he said. “He’s played nearly 470 games, which is a terrific tally, and he has made some fantastic memories along the way.
“He’s had a very fruitful career which probably even exceeded his expectations from when he was a young player, so he can be very proud of what he’s achieved.
“I’d describe him as being very conscientious, he’s a good professional and he’s maximised his career. I think he cares about people and he’s a really good person.”
“We had a conversation at the weekend and he explained his decision to me,” he explained. “I spoke to him at length and I reminded him that he was only 32, and that’s still quite young.
“I told him that I retired at 35 and in hindsight, when I look back, I probably felt that I retired a couple of years too young. Others will disagree, but I felt that within myself because I think you should try and play for as long as you can.
“However, I also understand that every player is different. We all reach certain stages where you think about things. With Danny, he’s the kind of player who has to play with an edge.
“He’s not reliant on his speed, or those aspects, he’s one who needs to play with that edge. I think that sometimes, when you lose that little bit of edge, it can mean that it’s the right time to call it a day.
“If, in his own mind, he’s lost that little edge on the playing side of things, then maybe it is the right decision.”
“And, of course, sometimes your head can be turned by other things, and he maybe has his eye on his after-football career,” he continued. “Everybody can give advice but it’s really only the player and the person who truly knows what’s going on inside his own head and with his body.
“After having tried to persuade him otherwise, I understood and respected his decision.”
And on the discussion they’d had about future contact with the club, he said: “That’s something I like for former players, and I actually spoke to him about this. He’s welcome back here any time.
“Even if it was to start his coaching work in the academy, and these types of things, because I think these are good platforms that great servants to the club should be involved in.
“He has his A licence as well, so he’s qualified, and that’s maybe something him and the club can think about. Players with his experience can give a lot back to the club, but I’m sure he has his own ideas on what he wants to do next.”