The former English and Arsenal forward, Theo Walcott, has officially announced his retirement from professional football at the age of 34. This declaration was made on Friday.
Walcott, who originally emerged from Southampton’s academy, joined Arsenal at the age of 16 in 2006. During his career, he managed to score 108 goals in 397 appearances. Notable achievements include winning the FA Cup twice in the 2014-15 and 2016-17 seasons, as well as securing the Community Shield in 2015 and 2017 during his impressive 12-year tenure with the Premier League club.
In 2018, Walcott transitioned to Everton, which was followed by a loan spell at Southampton during the 2020-21 season, eventually culminating in a permanent move.
Reflecting on his journey, Walcott shared his sentiments via social media, stating, “The moment I laced up my football boots at the age of 10 marked the beginning of a unique adventure for me. From playing casual matches with friends in the park to performing in some of the world’s largest stadiums in front of massive crowds, the consistent support I’ve received throughout has been unimaginable, and I am deeply thankful.”
He continued, “I’ve had the privilege of sharing the football pitch with numerous exceptional players, and together, we’ve crafted countless unforgettable memories.”
Walcott’s legacy also extended to the international stage, as he became England’s youngest-ever senior player at the age of 17, when he participated in a friendly victory against Hungary at Old Trafford in 2006.
Expressing his appreciation, Walcott acknowledged the managers and coaches who played a pivotal role in his journey. He specifically mentioned figures like Harry Redknapp, who gave him his initial break at Southampton, and Arsene Wenger, who demonstrated belief and support when he joined Arsenal at the tender age of 16.