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Hines Ward Retires, Thanks Pittsburgh Steelers Fans For Support

When Hines Ward was speaking at his retirement press conference earlier on Tuesday, he had many kind words for Steelers fans. Ward retired Tuesday, weeks after learning that the Steelers did not want him back in 2012.

"Today, I'm officially retiring a Pittsburgh Steeler," Ward said. "And as much as I will miss football, my teammates, coaches and everything about the game, I don't want to play it in any other uniform. The black and gold runs deep in me, and I will remain a Steeler for life."

It was so good to see Ward continue to praise the fans of the Pittsburgh Steelers. For a player like Ward to retire having only played for one team in the modern age of free agency, its really refreshing to hear this from a player.

"I spent time reading thousands of e-mails, Facebook posts, tweets, letters, cards and well wishes from fans everywhere," Ward said ... "Through it all, I realized that there's only one thing I lover more than the game, and that's Steeler Nation."

Ward was a tremendous credit to his team and the league. Here's hoping the retired life is a good one for him.

For more on the retirement of Hines Ward keep checking on this StoryStream. For more on the Pittsburgh Steelers, check our SBNation Blog Behind the Steel Curtain.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.