Well the words New England Patriots fans feared would come true were uttered on Sunday. 

Western New York native and New England Patriot Rob "Gronk" Gronkowski has announced his retirement from the NFL after 9 seasons.

Gronkowski spent his professional playing career with the Patriots.

According to Pro Football Reference, he retires with 602 receptions for 9,024 yards and 91 receiving touchdowns in both regular season and postseason. He is a five-time pro-bowler and three-time Super Bowl champion.

Gronk said in the post, "I will be retiring from the game of football today."

Gronkowski continued, "It was truly an incredible honor to play for such a great established organization and able to come in to continue and contribute to keep building success. To all my current and past teammates, thank you for making each team every year special to be a part of. I will truly miss you guys. Cheers to all who have been part of this journey, cheers to the past for the incredible memories, and a HUGE cheers to the uncertain of what's next."

Gronkowski's agent, Drew Rosenhaus confirmed his client's decision to retire.

The tight end, who turns 30 in May, leaves as a three-time Super Bowl champion who has established himself as one of the most dominant players at his position.

But he has been dogged in recent seasons by back, knee, ankle and arm injuries that have limited his ability to stay on the field.

NEWS CENTER Maine will update when more details become available