Home Sports Football Theo Walcott announces immediate retirement from football at the age of 34

Theo Walcott announces immediate retirement from football at the age of 34

Theo Walcott has announced his retirement from football following his departure from Southampton at the end of last season.

Walcott, who scored more than 100 goals for Arsenal and won 47 England caps, had been linked with a move to Bournemouth and League One outfit Reading earlier this summer.

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But the 34-year-old has called time on his career, confirming his retirement with a social media post, having made 563 club appearances and won three FA Cups alongside two Community Shields.

In an emotional video posted on social media, Walcott said: “The first moment I put my football boots on aged 10 was a special journey for me. From playing in the park with friends to performing in some of the biggest stadiums in front of huge crowds across the world.

“The support shown to me throughout this time has been incredible and in every way imaginable I am truly grateful. I shared the football pitch with so many incredible players and we have created so many unforgettable memories.

“I’d like to say a big thank you to all the managers and coaches that I’ve worked with, especially Harry [Redknapp] for giving me a start and Arsene [Wenger] for showing the belief and supporting me when I joined the club at only 16 years old. Over 18 fantastic years in the Premier League, there are so many moments I will cherish.

“The early days at Southampton Football Club, my transfer to Arsenal where I spent 12 enjoyable years and scored over 100 goals, winning the FA Cup and scoring in the final which is every kid’s dream. To have had the opportunity to represent England 47 times and to go to the World Cup in 2006 aged just 17 and still to hold the record for the youngest-ever debut by a senior England player and the youngest hat-trick goalscorer at 19 – I will never forget that feeling.

“I’m lucky enough to have had offers to continue playing but it feels right to finish where I started and hang up my football boots. Thank you to everyone who has been with me along the way.”

He was sensationally named by Sven-Goran Eriksson in England’s World Cup squad that summer despite not featuring for the Gunners in the second half of the 2005/06 campaign.

Walcott became England’s youngest player at the age of 17 years and 75 days when he appeared in a friendly win over Hungary in May 2006.

He scored eight times for his country, including a hat-trick against Croatia in World Cup qualifying in 2008 which made him the youngest player to score a treble for the Three Lions.

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