Jermain Defoe, the former England striker, has announced his retirement from the sport at the age of 39.
Defoe has announced his retirement from football with immediate effect, despite his Sunderland contract expiring at the end of the season.
With a long social media message, the Premier League’s ninth-highest goalscorer of all time confirmed the news.
“After 22 years in the game, I have decided to retire from professional football. It’s been a really tough decision, and one I have discussed with my family and those closest to me.
“I made my professional debut at 17 years old in 1999, and I feel now is the right time to bow out. I have had an incredible journey, and have met some amazing people in the game.
In the Premier League, Defoe scored 162 goals.
He scored for West Ham, Tottenham, Portsmouth, Sunderland, and Bournemouth throughout his 19 years in the English Premier League.
He also spent four seasons at Rangers, where he was instrumental in the club’s Scottish Premiership triumph last season.
Defoe was also a threat in front of goal for England, scoring 20 goals in 57 games.
In 2010, he represented his country at the World Cup, scoring in a 1-0 win over Slovenia in the group stages.
He was also a member of the Euro 2012 side that advanced to the quarter-finals.