DAMIAN Batt has opted to hang up his boots in what the former Oxford United full back described as “the hardest decision of my life”.

The 28-year-old was released by the U’s in May after 177 appearances, including the Conference play-off final victory at Wembley in 2010.

Batt had a trial at Vancouver Whitecaps in July, but left without a deal and the former Barnet and Stevenage defender has now chosen to stop playing professionally.

He tweeted: "After turning down some fantastic opportunities and offers I have had to make the hardest decision of my life and retire from full time professional football.

"I appreciate all the messages I have received and I understand people wanted to know where I was signing.

“But I am looking forward to the future and focusing on my businesses.

"It's been a great journey and now I'm on to the next journey!

“Thanks again for all the support over the years.”