LNTUP

England midfielder Scott Parker announces retirement

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England midfielder Scott Parker has announced his retirement from football after a 20-year career.

The former Chelsea, Tottenham and West Ham midfielder made his name at Charlton Atheltic and has 18 England caps to his name. Scott also captained England once in a friendly match against Netherlands in 2012.

In a statement confirming his decision to quit, the 36-year-old said:

“The decision to retire has not been an easy one for me but having thought long and hard over it, and having discussed it with those closest to me, I believe that now is the right time to move on to the next chapter in my life and career.

“When I started my career at Charlton Athletic all those years ago I could only have dreamt at that time just what was to follow over the next two decades. I feel incredibly honoured and proud to have enjoyed the career that I have and I’ve loved every moment of it.”

Parker turned professional at Charlton after coming through the ranks at the FA’s School of Excellence at Lilleshall.

Over the course of seven years at Charlton, he was brought in close attention to Chelsea, who ultimately signed him in 2004. Parker’s only two pieces of domestic silverware would come in the form of the Championship title with Charlton and the League Cup with Chelsea in 2005.

In the same year, Scott signed for Chelsea, he was placed on the standby list of England’s 2004 Euro squad but didn’t make the cut for the tournament. He remains the only player to have represented five London clubs in the Premier League – Charlton Athletic, Chelsea, West Ham United, Tottenham Hotspur and Fulham.

Scott was awarded the Football Writers’ Player of the Year in 2011. He was also part of the England 2012 Euro squad.

In 1993, at the age of 13, Parker appeared in a McDonald’s advert. Playing the part of ‘Jimmy’, he performed a series of kick-ups in a back garden for a TV commercial that coincided with the build-up to the 1994 World Cup in the USA.

He retires having made a total of 572 club appearances, having scored 36 goals.

Parker has also earned his UEFA Pro License last year and can look forward to managing in the future.

‘The decision to retire has not been an easy one for me but having thought long and hard over it, and having discussed it with those closest to me, I believe that now is the right time to move on to the next chapter in my life and career.

Scott Parker’s statement in full:

“When I started my career at Charlton Athletic all those years ago I could only have dreamt at that time just what was to follow over the next two decades. I feel incredibly honoured and proud to have enjoyed the career that I have and I’ve loved every moment of it.

“I have enjoyed so many incredible moments during my career. From making my first team debut at Charlton, to playing regularly in the Premier League, playing in the Champions League to then playing in a major tournament for England, as well as ultimately fulfilling a lifelong dream by captaining my country. There are just too many highlights to mention.

“I would like to thank everyone at Charlton Athletic, Norwich City, Chelsea, Newcastle United, West Ham United, Tottenham Hotspur and Fulham for the unbelievable support that I’ve been shown throughout my time at each and every one of the club’s I’ve been proud to represent.

“Thank you to the fans of all of the clubs that I’ve been lucky enough to play for. Your support has meant everything to me and you’ve supported me throughout all of the ups and downs during my career. I hope I was able to repay the faith shown in me by my commitment and performances on the pitch.

“I would like to thank all of my teammates over the course of my career as well as the coaches and managers that I’ve played under. I’ve learnt a huge amount from everyone that I’ve worked with that I have no doubt will hugely benefit me in my next career chapter.

“Finally, and most importantly, I would like to thank my family for all of their unconditional love and support throughout. My wife Carly, and all of her family, and our sons Frankie, Murphy, Sonny and Rafa have been there for me through everything and I thank them from the bottom of my heart. Thank you too to my Mum and Dad, who I hope I’ve made proud. Without them all nothing would have been possible.

“When I was a boy I dreamt of becoming a professional football player and I feel very honoured to have accomplished my dream. I have always tried to set high standards on and off the pitch. I hope most of all throughout my career I have been a good role model not only to my sons but also to all of my teammates who played with me as well as all those who supported me.

“I’m now looking forward to the next chapter of my life and career and hope to make an announcement soon with regards to what that will be.”