It seems the Milt Stegall era has come to an end in Winnipeg.

Two CFL sources requesting anonymity told The Canadian Press on Friday that Stegall has informed the Blue Bombers he won't be back with the club in 2009. Instead, he will retire and end a brilliant 14-year career that was spent entirely in the Manitoba capital.

Both sources said Stegall first informed Bombers officials of his impending retirement in late December, then re-iterated it again during last month's Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala. Mike Kelly, Winnipeg's head coach, said Friday night he's not been officially informed yet as to which way Stegall is leaning.

"I haven't been told that directly," Kelly said. "Certainly Milt has earned the right to send that message directly."

Stegall is expected to attend a banquet in Winnipeg later this month, at which time the slotback would formally announce his retirement.

Stegall's decision to hang up his cleats doesn't come as a surprise. The married father of two young sons has mulled over retirement the past few years, opting to take each campaign on a year-to-year basis.

He decided to play last year despite having off-season knee surgery that forced him to miss training camp and the start of the season. But the six-foot, 189-pound Stegall was hampered by injuries for much of last year, recording just 30 catches for 470 yards and three touchdowns. The 30 catches and three TD receptions were both career lows and the 470 receiving yards broke Stegall's streak of nine straight 1,000-yard receiving seasons.

Stegall, a Cincinnati native who turned 39 on Jan. 25, leaves the CFL widely considered its greatest receiver ever. He has 855 career catches for 15,165 yards and 144 touchdowns. He leaves as the league's career leader in touchdown grabs, receiving yards as well as career TDs (147).

He also holds the CFL record for most touchdowns in a season (23 in 2002) and yards per catch in a season (26.5-yard average in `97).

Stegall also holds the Bombers club mark for most 1,000-yard receiving seasons with 10 and was named the CFL's outstanding player in 2002 when he established career highs with 105 catches for 1,862 yards and 23 touchdowns.

He also combined with former quarterback Khari Jones as the top passing tandem in CFL history and was voted at No. 15 in TSN's Top-50 CFL players poll.

On Aug. 24, 2007, Stegall received the key to the City of Winnipeg and was also honoured with a street named after him. The one next to Canad Inns Stadium -- the Bombers home field -- that was formerly called Arena Road after the former Winnipeg Arena, was renamed Milt Stegall Drive.

Stegall is also one of the league's most popular players with reporters because of his often colourful quotes.

His most popular one is: "There's only six guarantees in this world. Death, taxes, trouble, Milt Stegall being on time, Milt Stegall being pretty and Milt Stegall being in tip-top shape."

The only accomplishment to elude Stegall was playing for a Grey Cup-winning team. He participated in the game twice with Winnipeg -- 2001 against Calgary and '07 versus Saskatchewan -- but the Bombers were unable to secure a title win in either contest.

Stegall began his pro football career in 1992 with the NFL's Cincinnati Bengals. He made the team as an undrafted free agent out of Miami University, playing in 21 games over three seasons. He saw action mostly on special teams returning kickoffs. He joined the Green Bay packers as a free agent in '95 but was released and ultimately found his way north to Winnipeg.