Walcott announces retirement from football

18 Aug 2023
Theo Walcott

Former Arsenal, Everton and Southampton forward hangs up his boots at the age of 34

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Theo Walcott has announced his retirement from professional football.

The former Arsenal, Everton and Southampton winger hangs up his boots at the age of 34, having made 397 Premier League appearances.

Walcott started his career with Southampton in the Championship during the 2005/06 season, before joining Arsenal in January 2006 as a 16-year-old.

"The first moment I put my football boots on aged 10, was the start of a special journey for me," Walcott said on Instagram.

"The support shown to me throughout this time, has been incredible in every way imaginable and I am truly grateful.

"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 Arsene [Wenger] 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 hat trick goalscorer 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."

During his time in the Premier League, Walcott scored 80 goals and provided 56 assists.

The pacy winger featured 270 times in the top-flight for Arsenal, netting 65 goals under Wenger and also won three FA Cups and the FA Community Shield twice with them.

In 2012/13 he scored 14 goals and produced 10 assists in 32 League matches, his best-ever season, as Arsenal finished fourth.

Walcott then moved to Everton in January 2018, before returning to Southampton permanently in 2021 following a loan spell.

He was also capped 47 times for England, scoring eight goals during a 10-year international career.

Everyone at the Premier League wishes Walcott well for his future.

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