Jack Wilshere has today announced his retirement as a professional footballer.
The 30 year old had spells with Bournemouth, West Ham, Aarhus GF and a loan spell with Bolton, but is best known for his association with Arsenal.
An Academy graduate, he made his senior debut in September 2008, and went on to make 197 appearances in all competitions, scoring 14 goals and making 30 assists.
Sadly, his career was beset by injury, and we never consistently saw the best of one of the brightest talents to emerge from Hale End.
He is now expected to pursue a career in coaching, and there are whispers of a return to Arsenal in that capacity.
I’ve lived my dream. Thank you all ❤️ pic.twitter.com/rB5gnyyUlK
— Jack Wilshere (@JackWilshere) July 8, 2022
In a statement released this afternoon, he said:
Today I am announcing my retirement from playing professional football.
It has been an unbelievable journey filled with so many incredible moments and. I feel privileged to have experienced all that I did during my career. From being the little boy kicking a ball around in the garden to captaining my beloved Arsenal and playing for my country at a World Cup. I have lived my dream.
In truth it has been difficult to accept that my career has been slipping away in recent times due to reasons outside of my control whilst feeling that I have still had so much to give. Having played at the very highest level I have always held such huge ambitions within the game and if I am truthful I did not envisage being in this position at times. However, having had time to reflect and talk with those closest with me I know that now is the right time and despite the difficult moments I look back on my career with great pride at what I have achieved.
Playing at the very highest level with some of the best players in the world, winning FA Cups, captaining my club and representing my country were beyond my wildest dreams when I was a small boy growing up in Hitchin.
To the best supporters on the planet, all of you Arsenal fans, thank you all from the bottom of my heart. To play for you all has been a privilege. You’ve always made me feel supported and I hope I did you proud-representing your club. I’ll never forget how you always backed me and I’ll forever be a Gooner.
I have enjoyed every moment of my career and it has been the journey of a lifetime. Now is the right time to close this chapter but I still have so much to give to the game and I am excited about what the future holds.
While we never got to see him fulfill all his potential, we did get to see one of the best Arsenal goals of the modern era, scored by Jack himself, so enjoy. Also, his FA Cup celebrations were 🤌