Former Arsenal and England midfielder Jack Wilshere has announced his retirement at the age of 30.
Wilshere made his Premier League debut in 2008 at the age of 16 and 256 days after graduating from the club’s development program.
Wilshere had a promising start to his career and was widely expected to become a vital role for both Arsenal and England.
However, a succession of injuries and worries about his off-field lifestyle slowed his growth.
Wilshere made his England debut in 2010, going on to gain 34 appearances and compete in the 2014 World Cup and Euro 2016.
Wilshere won the FA Cup with Arsenal in 2014 and 2015, but he never lived up to his full potential in 197 appearances for the Gunners.
He spent a season on loan at Bournemouth before joining West Ham on a permanent basis in 2018.
Wilshere returned to Bournemouth on a short-term contract in January 2021 and also played for Danish Superliga side AGF before retiring on Friday.
“It’s been a great journey filled with so many wonderful memories, and I feel honored to have experienced all that I’ve done throughout my career,” Wilshere said on Twitter.
“From bouncing a ball around the yard as a little child to captaining my beloved Arsenal and representing my nation in a World Cup. My desire has come true.
“In reality, it has been tough to accept that my career has been sliding away in recent years due to factors beyond my control while still believing that I have so much to offer.
“Having had time to reflect and talk with those closest to 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 thanked former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger and his team for giving him a shot in the Premier League.
“Words can never express my gratitude and affection for the Boss, Arsene, Pat Rice, and Boro Primorac,” Wilshere stated.