Jack Wilshere, a former star for both England and Arsenal, has announced his retirement from football at the age of 30.
After a mutual separation between him and Danish Superliga team AGF, where he had been a member for less than five months, Wilshere said this week that he was examining his options.
The midfielder, who played for Arsenal for 10 seasons after passing through their junior ranks, is apparently planning to re-join the club as a development coach.
He won the FA Cup twice with the Gunners and was named PFA Young Player of the Year as well as taking the club’s player of the season award after a superb 2010-11 campaign.
After leaving Arsenal in 2018, Wilshere went on to represent West Ham and Bournemouth, with whom he had previously had a loan spell.
He also earned 34 caps for England across a six-year period, representing his country at two major tournaments including the 2014 World Cup.
But Wilshere struggled badly with injuries throughout his career and ultimately revealed in a statement on Friday that he felt the time had come to stop playing.
The player released a post on social media that was tagged with the comment: “I’ve lived my dream. Thank you all.”
Wilshere wrote: “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.
Since I still felt like I had so much to offer, it has been challenging to accept that my career has been falling recently for reasons outside of my control.
“Having competed at the top level, I have always had such big aspirations for the game, and to be quite honest, I never imagined finding myself in some of these situations.
“Despite the challenging times, I look back on my career with tremendous pride at what I have accomplished after taking some time to think and stroll with people closest to me.
“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.
“I feel very fortunate to have had the career I’ve had but none of it would have been possible if it wasn’t for the love and support of so many people.”
After thanking friends, family and some former coaches, Wilshere added: “Words will never do justice to the love and thanks I have for the Boss, Arsene [Wenger], Pat Rice and Boro Primorac.
“Without your belief, support and guidance from the very first day we met I wouldn’t have been able to become part of the Arsenal family.
“I’m forever grateful to you all. A huge thank you to the board, management and everyone else connected with Arsenal FC. Having joined the club at the age of seven years old you’ve become my extended family and thank you for everything.”