England Cerebral Palsy captain Jack Rutter will step away from playing to focus on coaching due to recent reforms in classification.
After a four-year research project, the International Federation for Cerebral Palsy Football has revised its classification rules meaning that players with minimal impairments are no longer considered eligible to compete in the sport.
Consequently a number of players from across the world will now not be eligible for future competition, including Rutter, who will continue on the disability talent pathway role models programme.
Rutter, who joined the team in 2012 and became captain from 2014 onwards, has just completed his FA Level Three Coaching Licence and will now assist as a coach with the England CP U21 squad.
He will also continue to inspire the next generation through his work with the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust and visits to schools.
“Captaining my nation has been an unbelievable experience and I've been proud to pull on the shirt for every game,” said Rutter.
“Naturally, I’m disappointed but I'm looking forward to the many challenges and opportunities for me in the future.”
Jack, who was assaulted in 2009 leaving him with a traumatic brain injury (TBI) and a loss of balance and hearing, began his journey into the CP team began when he trialled and got selected for the East Midlands regional team.
After playing against the Great Britain squad preparing for the 2012 London Paralympics, he then got selected to attend their first camp after these games in late 2012.
He quickly became a regular fixture in the squad, playing in two World championships, a European championships and the 2016 Paralympic Games.
Greg Clarke, FA Chairman, also praised Rutter’s impact on the team and added: “Jack has not only been an iconic player, but a role model and a credit to the Three Lions badge.
“His very presence in the England Cerebral Palsy team has helped raise the profile of disability football, and the players that participate, across the country and at all levels.
“I’m delighted he will be staying within the England set up where his story will continue to provide inspiration for the next generation."