Theo Walcott, 34, has announced his descision of retirement from football with immediate effect. The Ex-Arsenal and English forward had been playing for Southampton since 2020. Walcott made 567 appearances, clocking 132 goals and 95 assists in his career before deciding to ‘hang up his boots‘. Theo made his senior professional debut back in 2005, for Southampton. And now, 18 years later, Walcott made his final professional appearance for the Saints only, hence, completing a ‘circle of life‘ in his career.
Walcott was signed by Arsné Wenger in 2006, bringing the talented young player into his prestigious Arsenal team. It was at Arsenal only where Walcott earned his name. Scoring 108 goals and providing 80 assists in 397 appearances, many consider Walcott an underated Arsenal legend. His impact at the club has gone a bit under the radar. However, many fans and supporters believe that Walcott was very important for their club during his time with Arsenal. He made his debut for the England National Team and went to 2006 World Cup aged just 17, a record. He also holds the record of the youngest hat trick goalscorer at just th age of 19.
Walcott’s Emotional Retirement Message
Walcott took his official Instagram account to announce his retirement, writing a special post for his fans. In the post, Theo wrote, “The first moment I put my football boots on aged 10, was the start of a special journey for me. From playing in the park with friends, to performing in some of the biggest stadiums, in front of huge crowds across the world. The support shown to me throughout this time, has been incredible in every way imaginable and I am truly grateful. I’ve shared the football pitch with so many incredible players and we have created so many unforgettable memories. I would like to say a big thank you to all the managers and coaches I’ve worked with, especially Harry [Redknapp] 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.”
Walcott also clarified the reason why he has decided to retire. Speaking to Gary Neville in the latest episode of The Overlap, Walcott said that he decided to call it a day on his football career to focus on his family and life outside of football. The descision also came after the forward’s contract with Southampton expired this summer.
Players and Theo’s Ex- teammates react to his retirement news
Footballers Rob Holding, Aaron Ramsdale and Jack Wilshere gave their opinions on Walcott’s suprise retirement. Both Holding and Wilshere played with Theo at Arsenal, during the nearly two decades that the Englishman spent with the Gunners.
Jack Wilshere, who is a coach at Arsenal now, wrote, “What a career mate! Looked after me from day one. Thanks for everything! PS: Sign da ting!”. Rob Holding, Arsenal’s centre-back commented, “A great player and an even better guy, congratulations on an amazing career, and thank you for everything”. Arsenal’s GK Aaron Ramsdale said, “Congrats on a great career mate. Was a pleasure sharing so many special memories together. All the best with your next chapter.”
Theo retires with love and support from around the world. An electrifying player back in the days, even though wasn’t able to reach the status of the all time greats but has had some very memorable moments in his career that the football fans will remember for a long time.
Farewell! Theo Walcott.
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