Newcastle captain Alan Shearer has confirmed he has had to retire earlier than planned because of a knee injury.
Shearer netted 206 goals in 404 appearances for Newcastle
The 35-year-old tore knee ligaments at Sunderland on Monday and has been ruled out for the rest of the season.
"There's a tear in the medial ligament and I've got to be in a brace for a few weeks," Shearer told BBC Sport.
"Deep down when I was walking out of the game on Monday I knew something had gone but I was just hoping and praying that it wouldn't be as bad as feared."
Shearer picked up the injury at the home of Newcastle's arch-rivals, Sunderland's Stadium of Light, 10 minutes after scoring a penalty.
The former England captain remained optimistic he would be able to kick a ball before the end of the season but a scan on Friday confirmed the worst.
"It would have been great to play the last three games and go out against Chelsea with a win.
"But to go out in Sunderland, score and get the best result in 50 years wasn't a bad way to go."
Shearer is now very doubtful to play a major part in his testimonial game against Celtic at St James' Park on 11 May.
"I'll probably have to go on, kick it off and come back off again unless there's a miraculous recovery," the former England captain conceded.
1970: Born 13 August, Newcastle
1988: Signs professional forms for Southampton
1992: Senior England debut, scoring in 2-0 win over France
1992: Moves to Blackburn in then British record £3.3m deal
1995: His 34 Premiership goals lead Blackburn to the title
1996: Moves to home town club Newcastle in then world record £15m deal
2000: Announces he will retire from international football after Euro 2000 finals
2002: Scores 200th Premiership goal and 300th goal of his club career
2005: Announces he will play on as player-coach for the 2005-06 season
2006: Scores 201st goal for Newcastle to become top scorer in the club's history
After starting his career with Southampton, Shearer left Blackburn to join his hometown club Newcastle in the summer of 1996 for a then world-record fee of £15m.
He went on to score 206 goals in 404 appearances for Newcastle, eclipsing Jackie Milburn's record and becoming the club's top goalscorer in the process.
He is also the Premiership's leading goalscorer of all time with 260 goals in 441 games.
After an 18-year career, Shearer's only major trophy is the Premiership title he won with Blackburn in the 1994/95 season.
The striker turned down a move to Manchester United to join Newcastle and despite winning no silverware with the Magpies, he insists he has no regrets.
"When I was a young boy I wanted to play for Newcastle United, I wanted to wear the number nine shirt and I wanted to score goals at St James' Park," Shearer said.
"I've lived my dream and I realise how lucky I've been to have done that."
Shearer had planned to retire at the end of last season but was persuaded to stay on by then manager Graeme Souness for one more year.
But he was never tempted out of international retirement despite repeated calls to reverse the decision he made after Euro 2000.
After making his England debut against France in 1992, Shearer went on to score 30 goals in 63 appearances.
In domestic competitions, he netted a total of 379 goals in 733 appearances in a magnificent career.