Steve Sidwell has returned to Brighton & Hove Albion as youth development coach with the under-16s, and as a club ambassador.
Sidwell announced his retirement from playing yesterday evening, and he will now take up his new dual role with immediate effect.
He will assist Ben Smith in coaching the under-16 age group, and work alongside fellow ambassadors Alan Mullery and Bobby Zamora on matchdays and at other events.
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Albion chief executive Paul Barber said, “It is a pleasure to welcome Steve back to the club, as he undertakes these two new and exciting roles.
“He remains a very popular figure with our players, staff and fans, and we were delighted to give him the opportunity to help to bring through the next generation of players in our academy.
“He’ll combine his work in the academy with a role as club ambassador, alongside Alan and Bobby, and also continue with his media work.
“This illustrates how much we value the importance of having characters like Steve at the club, and I would like to wish him well in both roles.”
Sidwell first arrived at Albion on loan from Arsenal in November 2002, and scored five goals in 12 appearances, before securing a permanent move to Reading the following February.
After earning promotion to the Premier League with the Royals in 2007, the midfielder moved onto Chelsea and had subsequent spells with Aston Villa, Fulham and Stoke City.
Sidwell returned to the Seagulls on a loan deal from Stoke in January 2016, before the deal was made permanent the following summer.
The 35-year-old played a key role in Albion’s 2016/17 promotion-winning campaign, making 37 appearances in all competitions, and won the Sky Bet EFL Goal of the Season award with an unforgettable strike away at Bristol City.