Club captain Matt Carragher is the surprise name to be released by Port Vale.
The 27-year-old has spent six seasons at Vale Park, and led the team to the 2001 LDV Vans Trophy triumph at the Millennuim Stadium.
John Durnin, Phil Charnock, Rae Ingram, Sean McClare and Ian Brightwell, who has also announced his retirement from the game, were the others senior players to be freed.
"The modern game dictates who I can afford to keep, but I need to freshen the squad up and I'm looking for players who can take us back into the first division," manager Brian Horton told BBC Radio Stoke.
Dean Delany and Adrian Littlejohn have escaped Port Vale's end-of-season clear-out, and they have accepted new one-year deals.