Former NRL English national team star Gareth Widdop has officially elected to retire at the end of the 2023 NRL season.

The star half who was played in both half roles, as well as spending time at fullback throughout his career, made his debut in 2010 with the Melbourne Storm.

Playing the first 70 games of his career at the Storm, Widdop would eventually shift to the St George Illawarra Dragons ahead of the 2014 season in search of further opportunities.

Widdop became one of the stars of the show at the Dragons playing 125 games from 2014 through to the end of 2019 and while a handful of injuries disrupted his time with the club he would kick 387 goals and score 33 tries.

Often rated as one of the game's best players during his time at the Dragons, Widdop played 28 tests for England between 2010 and 2018 and also represented Great Britain on four occasions during the 2019 tour of the Pacific region.

Widdop, who missed most of his final season with the Dragons due to a shoulder injury, was able to return at the end of the season and go past 1000 NRL points before making the switch to the English Super League in 2020.

He then went on to spend the next three years with the Warrington Wolves in the English Super League, again struggling with injury at various points but having some wonderful performances, particularly during 2021, which was easily his best campaign with the Wolves as the club made the finals before being knocked over by Hull KR.

2022 saw the Wolves struggle, and Widdop elect to link up with the Castleford Tigers on a two-year deal from the start of 2023.

Links of a return to the NRL followed his Super League journey, but he has now elected to hang up the boots at the end of the season where the Tigers narrowly avoided relegation from the Super League.

Widdop posted on his Instagram that playing rugby league had been his dream.

"All feels a little surreal writing this however all good things come to an end, after much thought and deliberation my time playing Rugby League Professionaly is up!" he wrote.

"From sleeping with my rugby boots on as a little boy in Halifax my parents running me around everywhere so I could chase my dream following through to live the dream in Australia been signed by the Melbourne storm to go on and win a NRL grand final playing alongside some of the greatest players to the play the game no doubt will be future immortals, winning the world club challenge (what a feeling) playing for my country for over 10 years, representing and pulling on that famous Great Britain jersey the tours live on in memory, playing in the NRL Allstars game to picking up a Dally M 5/8 of the year award having immense coaches out there I can honestly say I've had the best!

"To the dragons where I was honored to captain the club for a number of years, the place where I will cherish every moment of watching my daughters grow up and cheering me on from the stands and my son running out every week to give me my kicking tee those are the moments I lived for.

"Following my dream to play back in my home country with my grandma and grandad close by Warrington and Cas served me well to my 300 games! I've met some incredible,inspirational people along the way. The following of each and every club has been nothing but supportive thank you so much for your kindness!"

Widdop saw the response to his retirement overflowing with messages from prior players.

"Congrats bell. One of the greats. Catch up soon," wrote Tyson Frizell.

Other former Dragons teammates Josh Dugan, Matt Dufty, Trent Merrin, Timoteo Lafai and Corey Norman also had messages of support, while the likes of Adam Reynolds also commented, labelling Widdop's career "great."