Steve Kirby, the Somerset fast bowler, has announced his retirement due to an ongoing shoulder injury.

Last winter Kirby underwent surgery but after returning to action earlier this season he aggravated the injury during a second team game.

"It has come as a real blow to me to have to retire from the game that I have been involved with for the past 20 years of my life," Kirby said. "It's been a difficult winter having gone through two operations. Dealing with setbacks is always part of professional sport but sometimes no matter how hard you try to recover, things are just taken out of your control."

Kirby made his first-class debut for Yorkshire in 2001 and such was his impact during that first season, as he took 47 wickets at 20.85, that he was mentioned in dispatches for a hurried call-up into the England side to face Australia.

As it was he never reached international level, but he did represent England Lions. His best season came in 2003 when he claimed 67 wickets 26.40 which included his career-best 8 for 80. In 2005 he moved to Gloucestershire and in 2009 took 64 at 22.18 before moving to Somerset in 2011.

He was also known as a feisty competitor and as known for the occasional interesting sledge such as when he told Michael Atherton "I've seen better batters in my fridge".

"I may be retiring from first class cricket but I hope to remain involved with the game at some level in a coaching capacity as I would love to be able to give something back to this wonderful game that has been so good to me over the years," Kirby said.

"I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those people that have helped me through my career, I would like to mention them by name but there have been so many to whom I am very grateful, and in particular the Somerset supporters who have made me feel so welcome in my time here at the club."