Peyton Manning Breaks into Tears as He Announces Retirement: 'After 18 Years, It's Time ... God Bless Football'

Peyton Manning won his second – and last – Super Bowl this year

Photo: David Zalubowski/AP

Peyton Manning, a celebrated NFL quarterback for nearly two decades, has announced he is retiring.

The 39-year-old football star made the official announcement on Monday at the Denver Bronco’s head quarters. The team broke the news one day earlier, ESPN reports.

“Every moment, every drop of sweat, every bleary-eyed night of preparation, every note I took and every frame of film I watched was about one thing. Reverance for this game,” he said through tears. “When I look back on my NFL career I I’ll know without a doubt that I gave everything I had to help my teams walk away with a win.”

Joe Ellis, the Broncos president and CEO described the day as “historic.” He boasted of Manning’s several accomplishments on the field but said that off of the field Manning was “one of the greatest ambassadors this organization and the national football league” has ever seen.

As for whether he will miss the game, Manning said, “absolutely, absolutely I will.”

“I’m totally convinced that the end of my football career is just the beginning of something I haven’t even discovered yet,” he said. “Life is not shrinking for me. It’s morphing into a whole new world of possibilities.”

Manning has been involved in the sport for 18 seasons and the announcement comes exactly one month after he led the Broncos to victory against the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50.

Just one day after the big win, he spoke about possibly retiring during an appearance on Good Morning America.

“I’m very much at peace right now, I think however it works out it’ll work out the way it’s supposed to,” he said. “I’m very grateful for this opportunity.”

The football star is one of the NFL’s elite quarterbacks, holding a mountain of records. At 39, Manning was the oldest quarterback in Super Bowl history to lead his team to the big win.

He holds the most career touchdown passes (539), a record previously held by Brett Favre. He was a 14-time Pro Bowl selection and a seven-time first-team All-Pro, ESPN reports.

His teams (the Indianapolis Colts and the Broncos) made the playoffs in 15 of his 18 seasons.

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