Former Arsenal and England midfielder Jack Wilshere has announced his retirement from professional football.
Earlier in July, Wilshere left Danish club AGF after less than five months, stating that he is now “considering his next step” in his career.
The 30-year-old former England international, whose career has been dogged by injury problems, joined the Danish Superliga club in February and played 14 league games for the club.
The former Arsenal and West Ham midfielder had been without a club since he was released by Bournemouth last summer and had been training with Arsenal and Italian side Como to maintain his fitness as he looked for a new club.
Wilshere has released a lengthy post on social media with the caption: “I’ve lived my dream. Thank you all.”
“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 a ball around in the garden to captaining my beloved Arsenal and playing for my country at a World Cup. I have lived my dream.
“In truth, it has been difficult to accept that my career has been slipping 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 very highest level I have always held such 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 walk with those closest with 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.
“Firstly, to my mum Kerry, dad Andy, brother Tom and sister Rosie. Without the sacrifice, love and unconditional support from all of you when I was a kid and through to his very day, nothing would have been possible and words will never be enough.
“Thank you for everything from the bottom of my heart. I will never forget everything you did for me to help me achieve my dreams.
“Thank you to all my lifelong friends for your support and friendships, you know who you are. A special thank you must go to my best friends Duane and Benik. Through the good times and the bad you’ve always supported me and I’ve always felt that I could always rely on your honesty and support.
“To all of my early coaches and staff especially Gordon Lawrence, Steve Leonard, Bobby Arber, Rog Masey, Liam Brady, Steve Bould, Mark Ellis, Tunde, Neil Banfield and all of you who taught me the ‘Arsenal way’. You led the way for the career I was able to have. Thank you.
“Words will never do justice to the love and thanks I have for the Boss, Arsene, Pat Rice and Boro Primorac. Without your belief, support and guidance from the very first day we met I wouldn’t have been able to become part of the Arsenal family.
“I’m forever grateful to you all. A huge thank you to the board, management and everyone else connected with Arsenal FC. Having joined the club at the age of seven years old you’ve become my extended family and thank you for everything.”