London (AFP) – Former Arsenal and England midfielder Jack Wilshere has retired at the age of just 30.
Wilshere became Arsenal’s youngest league debutant when he featured aged 16 and 256 days in 2008 after graduating from the club’s youth academy.
Widely predicted to emerge as a key figure for both Arsenal and England, Wilshere made a bright start to his career.
But his progress was hampered by a series of injuries and concerns about his off-field lifestyle.
Wilshere made his first England appearance in 2010, winning 34 caps and featuring at the 2014 World Cup and Euro 2016.
Although Wilshere won the FA Cup with Arsenal in 2014 and 2015, he never quite fulfilled his potential in 197 appearances for the Gunners.
He spent a season on loan at Bournemouth and made a permanent switch to West Ham in 2018.
Wilshere returned to Bournemouth on a short-term deal in January 2021 and also had a spell at Danish Superliga club AGF before deciding to hang up his boots on Friday.
“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,” Wilshere wrote on Twitter.
“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 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.”
Wilshere paid tribute to former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger and his staff for giving him his chance in the Premier League.
“Words will never do justice to the love and thanks I have for the Boss, Arsene, Pat Rice and Boro Primorac,” Wilshere said.
200+ Channels With Sports & News
- Starting price: $33/mo. for fubo Latino Package
- Watch Premier League, World Cup, Euro 2024 & more
- Includes NBC, USA, FOX, ESPN, CBSSN & more
Live & On Demand TV Streaming
- Price: $35/mo. for Sling Blue
- Watch Premier League, World Cup & MLS
- Includes USA, NBC, FOX, FS1 + more
Many Sports & ESPN Originals
- Price: $6.99/mo. (or get ESPN+, Hulu & Disney+ for $13.99/mo.)
- Features Bundesliga, LaLiga, Championship, & more
- Also includes daily ESPN FC news & highlights show
2,000+ soccer games per year
- Price: $4.99/mo
- Features Champions League, Serie A, Europa League & NWSL
- Includes CBS, Star Trek & CBS Sports HQ
175 Premier League Games & PL TV
- Starting price: $4.99/mo. for Peacock Premium
- Watch 175 exclusive EPL games per season
- Includes Premier League TV channel plus movies, TV shows & more
- Man Utd agree to sign Real Madrid midfielder Casemiro
- Chelsea boss Tuchel given one-game ban after Spurs red card
- Man Utd icon Ferguson lauds Giggs’ temperament’ at assault trial
- EPL commentators on NBC: Aug. 20 to 22
- CBS renews UEFA Champions League rights through 2029/30
- Ten Hag demands attitude change from Man Utd
- Dortmund chairman rules out move for Cristiano Ronaldo
- Injured Kante sidelined for several weeks: Tuchel
- Arteta ‘confident’ Saka will sign new Arsenal contract
- Urawa crush JDT to advance in Asian Champions League