The 42-year-old NFL star, who spent the entirety of his career with the Patriots, announced his departure via a heartfelt Instagram post, where he gave thanks to his teammates, coaches, executives and staff.
Widely regarded to be the finest quarterback in the history of American football, Brady enjoyed a phenomenal sporting career spanning two decades.
In an emotional statement posted in two parts, Brady wrote:
A six-time Super Bowl winner, Brady, originally of San Mateo, California, was the 199th pick in the Patriots’ 2000 draft, and would go on to lead his team into what would be their greatest era to date.
Having won more games than any other quarterback before him – and having raised the Patriots to formidable levels of excellence – Brady’s legacy will no doubt endure long after he has put aside his well-worn football boots.
Renowned for his phenomenal ability to smash National Football League (NFL) records, Brady was named Most Valuable Player (MVP) four times, and made a total of nine Super Bowl appearances.
Brady also holds the honour for being ranked at number two on the all-time list for touchdown passes and passing yards, surpassed only by New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees.
Other football stars pay tribute to Legend Brady
Tributes have now poured in for Brady as he moves on to the next part of his remarkable career, with former linebacker Matt Chatham tweeting:
Fact: @TomBrady gave more to the @Patriots than any single player has ever given another NFL organization. Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.
Fellow Superbowl champion Lonie Paxton commented:
The greatest teammate, leader and competitor of our generation…and one hell of a friend as well. #family
All the best of luck to Tom Brady as he moves forwards to the next, no doubt exciting, chapter in his extraordinary life.