Tranmere have been dealt a blow to their preparations for next season after top scorer James Vaughan announced his retirement from professional football.

The 32-year-old former Everton star plundered 19 league goals for Rovers this season and scored in the the second leg of the promotion playoff tie against Morecambe, which Tranmere ultimately lost 3-2 on aggregate.

Vaughan suffered a knee injury against Leyton Orient at the end of February and has barely featured since, but his shock announcement is bad news for the Super White Army.

Speaking to Sky Sports, he said: "It was a tough decision but I've had a really good career and enjoyed it. It just felt like now the time was right to hang up the boots.

"I always try my hardest and I've managed to get a few goals this season but I think your mind and your body tells you when it's time to call it a day and I felt like I was at the end of it now, so I'm just looking forward to the future.

"I love football, it's all I know, and I want to be a part of it. I've enrolled on a sporting directorship degree that I'm really enjoying, so in the long term that's maybe something I'll look at.

"I'm really keen on mentoring some of the younger generation and help them, whether it's in player representation or another form. I'm excited to help them get to where they need to be."

Vaughan joined Rovers on a permanent contract last summer after leaving Bradford City.

He became Everton's youngster ever top flight goalscorer at the age of 16 when he scored against Crystal Palace on April 10, 2005, surpassing the previous record held by Wayne Rooney.