34-year-old former flippy flanker from English clubs Arsenal, Everton and Southampton Theo Walcott has announced his retirement from professional football with immediate effect earlier today. The news was confirmed when the ex-England national team football player with 47 international caps took to the internet to declare his decision, and it came shocking to many as despite being released by the now-relegated Saints following a contract expiration last season, the Stanmore-born winger expressed his intention to continue to play professional football. Theo Walcott has of course made a staggering total of more than 600 appearances for club and country over 19 years of experiences in professional football.
Theo Walcott’s Official Statement
In a post on Theo Walcott’s official social media account, the ex-Arsenal star mentioned: “I would like to say a big thank you to all the managers and coaches I’ve worked with, especially Harry for giving me the start and Arsène for showing belief and support to 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 kids dream. To have had the opportunity to represent England 47 times, going 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 youngest hatrick goal scorer at 19 – I will never forget that feeling.
“Goodison Park is such a special place to play and Everton will always be in my heart, I loved my time there and will never forget the way the fans welcomed me and my family. Then finally back to Southampton to complete the circle. It’s a great club with an exciting young team that I know will get better and better. 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.” Theo Walcott ended the official statement by simply thanking everyone who has been with him through thick and thin along the way.
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Named in the 2006 FIFA World Cup Squad at 17, Youngest Player to Score a Hat-Trick for England
Known as one of the fastest players in the history of football (Highest speed at 35 km/h), Theo Walcott broke the internet when he made into the then-England coach Sven-Göran Eriksson’s squad for the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany. Despite not making any appearances in the quadrennial tournament, Theo Walcott immediately became a household name in European club football and international stage due to his talent at such a young age. Among many records that he had attained, a famous one included being the youngest player to score a hat-trick for the Three Lions, where he did it against Croatia away from home in the 2010 FIFA World Cup Qualification.
At club level, Theo Walcott spent 13 years at three-time Premier League winner Arsenal after making a full senior debut season for Southampton. His capabilities up front soon made him a rightful candidate to inherit the famous no. 14 jersey at the Gunners, which was famously worn by club legend and French scoring machine Thierry Henry. Although his career was later plagued by many injuries, his amazing Arsenal resume was translated into 108 goals and 80 assists in 397 appearances as well as five titles for the club (Three FA Cups and two FA Community Shields).
An Injury-Plagued Career
The second half of Theo Walcott’s playing career was troubled by many injuries, leading to his exit from long-time club Arsenal to join fellow Premier League outfit Everton, before a return to his boyhood and first senior club Southampton for the final two seasons of his playing career. Such limited playing time and dipped form meant he could only managed to score 16 goals in 144 appearances for the Toffees and Saints.
We would like to extend our retirement wishes to a brilliant player like Theo Walcott, and hope that his next endeavours in life would thrive like the early part of his professional football career.