04/25/2012 11:54 EDT | Updated 06/25/2012 05:12 EDT

Bombers' Khan announces retirement

Blue Bombers offensive linesman Obby Khan has announced his retirement after eight seasons in the CFL.

“It’s with mixed emotions that I make this announcement today as football has always been a big part of my life,” Khan said in a statement released by the football club.

“At the same time, when one door closes, another one opens and I am looking forward to the next phase of my life.

"I want to thank all the fans in Winnipeg for their support over my career.”

When contacted by CBC News Wednesday morning, Khan would not comment on reports he is being forced to retire.

According to the Winnipeg Sun, the Bombers asked Khan to retire and he reluctantly accepted.

“Obby has always been a very hard worker and an excellent ambassador to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers throughout the province of Manitoba,” Joe Mack, Bombers vice president and general manager stated in a news release.

“We’d like to thank him for everything he has done for this organization and wish him well as he turns the page on a new chapter in his life.”

The 31-year-old Khan was drafted into the CFL by his hometown Ottawa Renegades in the first round (second overall) in 2004.

The Bombers picked him up in the 2006 dispersal draft when the Renegades franchise folded.

The six-foot, 270-pounder took some heat last season when the Bombers failed to score on some short yardage situations.

An active community volunteer who lives in Winnipeg year-round, Khan has three times won the Cal Murphy ‘Heart of a Legend’ Award, which goes to the Blue Bombers player who best demonstrates outstanding sportsmanship and dedication to the CFL and community.

He has also headed up his own charity efforts, creating Khan’s Kids, to help underprivileged kids in Winnipeg and the Winnipeg Project which fights poverty and aids disadvantaged children in Namibia, Africa.