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Former Patriot Steve Gregory, Who Recovered 'Butt Fumble,' Announces Retirement

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Steve Gregory, seen here enjoying some Thanksgiving turkey with Tom Brady and Vince Wilfork in 2012, recovered the infamous "butt fumble" for a touchdown in the Patriots' 2012 Thanksgiving rout of the Jets. Matthew J. Lee/Globe Staff

Former Patriots defensive back Steve Gregory has decided to call it a career.

The 31-year-old announced his retirement from pro football on Saturday after eight seasons in the NFL, in a statement released by his agent David Canter.

It is with tremendous respect, appreciation, and admiration for the game of football that I’ve decided to announce my retirement effective immediately. After enter the game as an undrafted free agent, I was fortunate enough to play twice as long as the average player. This past offseason, my wife Rosanne and I were blessed to welcome a daughter, Aviana, and spending time with her has changed my life’s perspective. It is my hope to continue in football as a coach and I look forward to what the future holds. I’m tremendously happy with my decision and being able to walk away from this great game both healthy and on my own terms. I would be remiss in announcing my retirement without thanking my great family, coaches, teammates, scouts, trainers, agent and all of the fans that have supported me along the way. Thank you, Steve Gregory

Gregory played two seasons for the Patriots from 2012-13, suiting up for 26 games and recording three interceptions, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, and a sack.

He signed with the Chargers as an undrafted free agent in 2006 and spent six seasons in San Diego prior to his tenure in New England; his career numbers include 278 tackles, seven interceptions, two forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries, and three sacks.

Gregory signed with the Kansas City Chiefs on July 31 and made three tackles in the Chiefs preseason opener against the Cincinnati Bengals.

One of Gregory’s most notable Patriots moments came on Thanksgiving 2012, when he recovered the infamous “butt fumble” by Mark Sanchez and ran it in for a touchdown in the Patriots’ 49-19 clobbering of the Jets at MetLife Stadium. He also recorded an interception and another fumble recovery in the contest.

Although Gregory may have retired from the game, Patriots fans will always remember fondly how he was a part of the joy they took from the Jets’ collapse that saw New England score three touchdowns over a span of 52 seconds in the Thanksgiving rout.

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