Theo Walcott announces retirement from professional football (Video)

Theo Walcott, a former Arsenal and Southampton forward has announced his retirement from professional football at the age of 34.

Walcott made the announcement on his Twitter handle on Friday.

Walcott retires following a 23-year career in which he made 397 Premier League appearances.

“I’m officially going to be hanging up my boots. It’s very scary, I can’t lie.

“It’s scary because football’s all I’ve known from the age of 16 or even younger. I want to try new things I never experienced as a kid – I missed out on a lot.

“I just feel like I want to experience life – things [usually] revolve around football for me.

“I’ve had offers abroad and from some very good Championship teams. There’s been some Saudi offers but it’s not where I see myself playing, to be honest.

“Nothing against the money or the league but if my heart isn’t into playing football it’s not fair on the clubs, not fair on me.”

Walcott played for Newbury and Swindon Town as a youngster before being signed by Southampton in 2000.

He made his debut for Southampton in 2005 as a 16-year-old and soon became the club’s youngest ever goal scorer when he found the net against Leeds United.

Walcott made 21 appearances and scored four goals for Saints before joining Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal in 2006.

In his 13-year spell with the Gunners, Walcott won three FA Cups as well as two Community Shields.

He played 397 games for the Gunners, scoring 108 goals, before departing for Everton in a £20 million deal in 2019.

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Walcott played 85 games for the Toffees, scoring 11 times, before re-joining Southampton two years later.

Olusola Sorinmade

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