A-League: Wellington Phoenix legend Andrew Durante bids emotional farewell to 'Yellow Fever' faithful

He may have been among the beaten opposition this time, but former Wellington Phoenix stalwart Andrew Durante has received an emotional farewell from 'Yellow Fever' faithful in his final appearance at the 'Cake Tin'.

After more than 400 Australian national league - including 356 A-League appearances - the veteran defender will hang up his boots at the end of this season'

This week's announcement coincided with his return to the NZ capital with Western United - but the timing was hardly coincidence, as Durante took the opportunity to thank the organisation where he spent most of his career.

Arriving in 2008, after winning the A-League crown with Newcastle Jets, he was immediately appointed captain and held the role for 273 games, until he left to join United in 2019.

After the Phoenix thumped his current outfit 3-0, Durante, 39, was afforded a hero's send-off from the record 24,105 home crowd - the most to ever watch a Wellington regular season game and the largest A-League attendance of the season.  

"I've had some amazing moments here, so it was special to say goodbye tonight," the former All White told Sky Sport.

"I timed it knowing there would be a home game here, and spending 11 years here and more than 100 games on this turf, I thought it was the right time to do it.

"I want to say thank you to the fans and everyone in Wellington that treated me so well."

Durante will retire as the A-League's most-capped player.

"I wanted to go out on my terms. I get the opportunity to do that and go out playing - it's special to come back here and say goodbye."

Among the signs of support around Sky Stadium was one that read "Thanks again, Dura. Please lose today".

"This is probably the end of our ambitions for finals football," he admitted . "Me personally, I've got three more games left in my career - I want to make the most of it and enjoy it as much as I can."