FORMER ARSENAL star Jack Wilshere has announced his retirement from playing aged just 30.
The former England international, who has been plagued by injuries throughout his career, signed for Danish side AGF back in February.
But he announced earlier this week that he had left the Scandinavian side after just five months by “mutual consent”.
Now he has confirmed on Twitter that he is hanging up his boots for good with speculation mounting that he will become Arsenal’s new U18s coach.
In a lengthy post, Jack Wilshere wrote: “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 the ball around in the garden to captaining my beloved Arsenal and playing for my country at a World Cup. I have lived the dream.”
“In truth it has been difficult to accept that my career has been slipping away in recent times due to reasons outside of my control whilst feeling that I have still had so much to give.
“Having played at the highest level I have always held huge ambitions within the game and if I am truthful I did not envisage being in this position at times.
“However, 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.
“Playing at the very highest level with some of the best players in the world, winning FA Cups, captaining my club and representing my country were beyond my wildest dreams when I was a small boy growing up in Hitchin.
“I feel very fortunate to have had the career I’ve had but none of it would have been possible if it wasn’t for the love and support of so many people.”
Wilshere went on to thank a host of key figures that have helped him along the day, including former managers, coaches, team-mates and his representatives as well as all of his old clubs.
But he had some extra special words about Arsenal, saying: “To the best supporters on the planet, all of you Arsenal fans, thank you all from the bottom of my heart.
“To play for you all has been a privilege. You’ve always made me feel supported and I hope I did you proud representing your club. I’ll never forget how you always backed me and I’ll forever be a Gooner.
“I have enjoyed every moment of my career and it has been the journey of a lifetime. Now is the right time to close this chapter but I still have so much to give to the game and I am excited about what the future holds.”
He played 14 league matches for AGF during his 136 days there.
Wilshere was once considered to be one of the most talented English footballers of his generation.
Jack Wilshere spent a decade in Arsenal’s first team, before spells with West Ham and Bournemouth.
Jack Wilshere also received 34 caps for England, scoring two goals, but has not featured since 2016 after a number of injury issues.
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