Blackburn full-back Stig Inge Bjornebye has retired from professional football after failing to recover from a succession of injuries.

The former Norwegian international a fractured eye socket last year and after seeking medical advice, Bjornebye has been told retire from the game. The eye injury comes on top of of several other setbacks which have restricted his appearances at Blackburn.

“It was a terrible injury and presented me with a massive challenge, but I have always been positive I could overcome it,” he told the club’s official website.

“The will has always been there but, in the end, it has not proved realistic.

“I didn’t want to be just a footballer.

“I wanted to play at Premier League level twice a week. It’s clear now that’s not possible, and I have a responsibility to myself, my family and my future.”

The 33-year-old former Liverpool and Rosenborg player won 73 caps for Norway.