Milton Keynes’ Olympic hero Greg Rutherford will hang up his spikes at the end of the season after announcing his retirement and here we pay tribute to his amazing career in pictures.
CLICK THE GALLERY LINK ABOVE TO SEE GREG RUTHERFORD’S CAREER IN PICTURES
The long jumper, who leapt to worldwide fame in 2012 as he claimed gold at the Olympic Games in London, has been plagued with injuries throughout his career and said it was time to call it quits.
“At times I am in so much pain I can’t even sit on the floor and play with my two kids,” Rutherford told the Guardian.
“Whenever I try to sprint or jump I have to take three days off because I am limping so much. In the end it wears you down.”
On Instagram, he added: “I’ve achieved so much but retirement comes early to those of us for whom sport is a livelihood.
“It only feels like yesterday I was winning my first major medal but now 12 years on, I sit here as the greatest long jumper Great Britain has ever had, one of the most successful in European history and someone ready to hang the spikes up for good.
“It’d be so great to finish with some roaring crowds.”
Rutherford, who grew up in Bletchley and later lived in Woburn Sands, joined an illustrious trio on Saturday August 4, 2012.
VIDEO: A memorable moment for us here at the MK Citizen was when former reporter Amanda Devlin told the star he was ‘kind of a big deal’ prompting Rutherford to burst out laughing, you can watch that moment above.
In a remarkable 49 minutes of action, Great Britain claimed three gold medals from athletes who have gone on to become national icons - Rutherford, Jessica Ennis and Mo Farah. While nay-sayers claimed his win was a fluke, Rutherford went on to stamp his authority on the long jump world.
Closer to home, Rutherford was paraded around his home town of Woburn Sands on an open-top bus to celebrate his gold medal success in London, while a giant statue of his leap welcomes visitors to Milton Keynes at junction 13 of the M1.