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The 33-year-old has made the decision after 215 games in the NRL, 14 Tests for Australia, four matches for the Prime Minister's XIII, eight games for Queensland and two NRL All-Stars appearances.
The Brothers junior started his career with the Sydney Roosters back in Round 22 of season 2005 where he then went on to make 73 appearances, before then shifting to the nation's capital, playing 131 matches for the Raiders between 2009-2015. Shillington then made the move to the Gold Coast Titans where he played 11 matches in season 2016.
Shillington is about to enter into his ninth round of surgery after 12 years in the NRL and his body couldn't continue to be put through the rigours of week to week rugby league.
"It's not necessarily the way that you'd like to retire from the game but injuries are a part of it and it's just all a bit much for me to continue putting my body through it," Shillington said.
"I've had a great time in the game and it's given me so much. The people I've met along the way and the fun I've had, has given me plenty of great memories.
"I'd like to thank the three clubs I played for over the years for allowing me to play the game that I love for a living and helping me achieve many of my goals.
"I won't be lost to the game though, I'm looking forward to my next chapter where I'll do some work as part of the NRL Ambassador program."
Head Coach Neil Henry applauded the contribution Shillington has made to the game.
"David has been a quality rugby league player throughout his career but more importantly, he's been a good role model," Henry said.
"Even throughout a tough season in 2016, he continued to help the younger players in and around training with their development.
"He will be a great ambassador for the game moving forward."
CEO Graham Annesley also thanked Shillington for his efforts over his career.
"There are many quality people in our game and David Shillington is one of the best," Annesley said.
"I'm so glad he won't be lost to the game and I know he will make a very smooth transition into life after football and forge an equally successful non-playing career.
"I know everyone in Rugby League will join with me in wishing Dave, Sonia and their young family nothing but the best for the future," Annesley concluded.