Jack Wilshere, 30, has declared his retirement from professional football.
The former England international departed Danish side AGF in June at the end of his contract after only 14 appearances and will now retire after a 14-year professional career.
Wilshere began his career at Arsenal, where he progressed through the club’s youth system before making his first-team debut in 2008. Over the course of a 10-year stint, he would play nearly 200 games and score 14 goals for the Gunners.
Wilshere left Arsenal to play for West Ham United and Bournemouth before facing a new challenge in Denmark, where he struggled for form and fitness.
The midfielder was also capped 34 times by the Three Lions and featured in one World Cup as England crashed out of the group stages in Brazil. Wilshere scored two goals for his country and both came in the same game against Slovenia in 2014.
Wilshere spoke to his fans through Twitter:
“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 the dream.”
“A huge thank you to the board, management and everyone else connected with Arsenal FC. Having joined the club at the age of 7 years old you’ve become my extended family and thank you for everything.”
“Thank you to all of the other coaches from my senior career and with a special thank you to Roy Hodgson and Eddie Howe. Both of whom are fantastic managers that showed belief in me at critical points in my career and when I needed it most.”
For the complete statements made by Wilshere, go here!
Wilshere is clearly a cult favourite among Arsenal fans, who greeted him warmly on Twitter.
According to the dependable David Ornstein, Wilshere is expected to return to Arsenal as U18s head coach. The Englishman temporarily coached the club in January and is now likely to take over full-time.
Arsenal fans will be overjoyed to see their hero return to the club in what is a fairy-tale comeback!