Steelers’ Ben Roethlisberger calls time on ‘exhilarating’ 18-season NFL career

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<span>Photograph: Colin E Braley/AP</span>
Photograph: Colin E Braley/AP
  • Quarterback won two Super Bowls with Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Finishes career fifth on list of NFL’s passing yard leaders


Two-time Super Bowl champion Ben Roethlisberger has announced his retirement from the NFL.

The quarterback, who played the entirety of his 18-season career with the Pittsburgh Steelers, confirmed the news in a video posted to Twitter on Thursday.

“The journey has been exhilarating, fueled by a spirit of competition,” Roethlisberger said. “Yet the time has come to clean out my locker, hang up my cleats and continue to be all I can be to my wife and children. I retire from football a truly grateful man.”

Related: Ben Roethlisberger was easy to admire as a quarterback, but not as a man

The 39-year-old’s retirement comes as no surprise and he had all but confirmed in recent weeks that the Steelers’ playoff loss to the Kansas City Chiefs earlier this month would be his final game.

At 6ft 5in and 240lbs, Roethlisberger was tough to bring down for opposing rushers, and he was often able to extend plays until he could find open receivers with his powerful arm. He won Super Bowls XL and XLIII with the Steelers and was named to the Pro Bowl on six occasions. He is almost certain to make the Hall of Fame and finishes his career with the fifth-most passing yards (64,088) in NFL history.

“Ben has always been a fighter,” team-mate Cam Heyward said. “Always given us a chance. He’s battled a lot. He’s been rewarded with two Super Bowls, but we needed every bit of Ben Roethlisberger in every game he’s played. You can’t just replicate that.”

Although he was brilliant on the field his early career was marred by separate accusations of sexual assault in 2009 and 2010. A civil case filed against him stemming from an alleged incident at Lake Tahoe in 2009 was settled out of court. A woman in Georgia alleged he assaulted her at a bar in March 2010 but prosecutors did not formally charge him.

That prompted a suspension under the NFL’s personal conduct policy for the start of the 2010 season, which ended with Roethlisberger leading the Steelers to the Super Bowl for a third time, a loss to the Green Bay Packers.

Remarkably, the Steelers never experienced a losing season an any of Roethlisberger’s nearly two decades under center.

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