Keith stepping down to take a break

Keith Peacock has revealed that he is stepping down from his role at West Ham United to take a break from football after nearly half a century of involvement in the game.

The former Charlton Athletic favourite is leaving Upton Park after spending a year on the coaching staff working for both Alan Pardew and Alan Curbishley, and admits the time is now right to step back from football's 'front line'.

"I've been very fortunate to have spent more than 45 years as a player, coach and a manager and I feel that now is the right time to take a break," says Keith.

"Apart from a three-month spell back in 1991, I haven't really had a break from the game during all that time, and in terms of coaching, it was always my intention to take a step back at this stage of my life.

"I'm sure I will always have a connection with the game in some form or another," he adds, "but I am certainly retiring from what I call the 'front line' of football, when - as a player, coach or a manager - you are focused so intensely on that result on a Saturday afternoon.

"I think it's time to reflect a little, take a nice long break and then think about things from there. It will give me more time to spend with the family and grandchildren, which is something I am greatly looking forward to."

And despite only spending 12 months of that long-serving career at Upton Park, Keith insists he will always have a special place in his heart for the Hammers.

"It has certainly been a remarkable experience," he says. "I think West Ham United probably packed more into last season than most clubs do in a five year period!"

"It was certainly a dramatic campaign, but the main thing is that it finished with a happy ending and, I've got to say, if you are looking to finish on a high, then winning 1-0 at Old Trafford is definitely the way to do it! That was a very special day.

"I've made a lot of friends at the Club and have really enjoyed my time here. I wish West Ham United all the very best and look forward to following the team from a distance in the future."