After leading the Broncos to a super bowl victory, Peyton Manning has decided to retire on a high note.  Manning thanked friends, teammates, coaches and family members as he announced his official retirement.

Manning was visibly emotional as he recollected the start of his NFL career and other personal highlights, including when he met legendary QB Johnny Unitas in his rookie season.  Manning has been in the league for 18 years in which he has won five MVP awards and two super bowl rings as well as set countless records.  Manning’s career consisted of four years with the Denver Broncos and 14 seasons as a member of the Indianapolis Colts.

Upon retiring, Manning is as of current the NFL’s all-time leader in passing touchdowns at 539 as well as passing yards with his total of 71,940.  He also has a total of 186 quarterback wins, a current record he shares with Brett Favre.

Peyton Manning played most of his career in Indianapolis and in 2012 he signed with the Denver Broncos and led the team to four AFC west titles consisting of an impressive 50 regular season wins and two trips to the Super bowl, the most recent being this year’s 24-10 victory over the very strong and impressive Carolina Panthers.  Manning has been to the Pro Bowl 14 times and has been a seven time All-Pro team member.  His team only missed the playoffs 3 times in 18 seasons while the quarterback reached the 4,000 passing mark in his 14th season.   Manning’s stats and records are lengthy, in the Broncos’ 2013 season, the team broke a single season scoring record as Manning on his own set a record of 5,477 passing yards and 55 touchdown passes despite being one of the older quarterbacks in the league.

Before making his decision and announcement, Manning had been pondering his ultimate decision until the latter part of last week.  On Saturday however, Manning had reached his final decision and notified his most trusted friends, family and members of his inner circle that he would in fact be retiring.

Manning seems to have reached his decision after what he calls the most “unique” season of his long career in which he missed seven starts and topped off a great year with the ultimate prize in football, -an NFL ring.  Manning says that he has “fought the good fight” and “finished the race” after keeping the faith during his long career.  Manning now says that after 18 solid years it’s his time to throw in the towel and say goodbye to his fans, as he said; “after 18 years, its time, God bless all of you and God bless football.”