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Michael Kightly, it is reported, is about to call time on his playing career after two years back at Southend United and with one year remaining on his contract.

1516 burnley michael kightly 00 630x420He started his playing career with his local club, making a debut for them just over 16 years ago in a 1-0 defeat at Exeter but he soon dropped into non-league football with Farnborough and Grays before getting the opportunity to sign for Wolves after an initial loan in 2006.

It was at Wolves in that first season that he played against us for the first time. It was during that awful run we had of 18 league games without a win. They beat us 2-1 that day; Kightly scored the first goal with a certain Stephen Ward bagging the second.

Two seasons later he scored both against us in a 2-0 defeat in the same fixture although both goals would have been ruled out had we had a referee other than Darren Drysdale.

Injuries struck and in October 2011 he joined Watford on loan to get some game time before having two years at Stoke. That loan was an influence in him getting his next move. He’d played for Sean Dyche at Watford and he joined us on loan in August 2013, making his debut against Blackburn.

He was a key player in the promotion team in 2013/14 and that won him a three year deal but he was never a regular although there were some really good performances from him when he did play, none more so than at Old Trafford against Manchester United despite us losing the game.

His lack of games meant his departure from Burnley was inevitable two years ago; he’d spent the second half of his final season with us on loan at Burton, and he returned to his first club Southend where he’s notched another 60 league appearances to take his total to over 370.

Nothing has been confirmed by the club, but the Southend Echo has reported this week that he’s set to announced his retirement with immediate effect.

He made a total of 76 league appearances for us and scored six goals which included a couple of important ones in the promotion run in, the winner at Blackpool followed by our second in the promotion clinching 2-0 win against Wigan on the Turf.

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