Former Chelsea and Liverpool star Joe Cole has officially announced his retirement. The midfielder rose to prominence as a member of the Blues from 2003 to 2010 following his move from West Ham. During Cole’s time at Stamford Bridge, he won three Premier League titles, two FA Cups, and a League Cup.
The midfielder came through West Ham’s youth team and debuted for the senior side in 1998. After 126 appearances for the Hammers, Cole joined Chelsea and was regarded as one of the top players in the Premier League.
Cole joined Liverpool in 2010 before starting a sojourn that took him to a number of clubs before settling in the United States. Cole’s injury issues curtailed his time in England and once joining the Tampa Bay Rowdies, he stated he wished he had gone to the U.S. early. In 82 games for the second division club, Cole scored 20 goals.
Joe Cole retirement announcement
The former Chelsea and Liverpool star released an official statement on Tuesday morning to announce his departure from the game.
“After 20 years as a professional, the time has come for me to hang up my boots. 716 professional games, 104 goals, for seven great clubs – West Ham, Chelsea, Liverpool, Lille, Aston Villa, Coventry City and the Tampa Bay Rowdies – as well the honour of playing for England. It has been a dream come true. All of it.
There are key moments in every professional’s career. One of mine came when I was a young West Ham player. A senior pro, who was nearing his own retirement, said to me: ‘Enjoy every game, young man. It goes by in the blink of an eye and you’ll miss it badly after it’s gone.” He was right. Those words resonate even more now than they did back then. I tried to play and live by his advice every single day because being a professional footballer is an absolute honour.
Countless people have helped me through my career. I don’t want to single anyone out individually for fear of overlooking someone else! Simply, to the managers, coaches, backroom staff and everyone who has helped me along the way: thank you.
My favourite thing about being a professional footballer was the feeling you enjoy after coming back into the dressing room after a win. It will be difficult to replicate that but I’ll always remember all of my former teammates who I shared that experience with. I’ve been incredibly fortunate to have played with some of the very best players of my era and even more fortunate to call a lot of them friends.
As a fan, I loved watching wholehearted, skilful players and this is what inspired me. I remembered what was special for me when I was sitting in the stands watching games and I tried to replicate this. I hope I was able to do this for some of the fans and people who have watched my games over the years.
Winning trophies at Chelsea was particularly special for me. Those memories will live with me forever, as will the chance I had to share them with my family. My wife, Carly, and our three amazing children, my Dad, George, my Mum, Susan, are what I’m most proud of.
Looking to the future, I want to stay involved in the game. I feel I can offer a lot as a coach and have really enjoyed the opportunity to undertake some of these duties with the Rowdies. To lend my experience to help other young footballers achieve their dreams, just like I did, is a big passion of mine.
Whatever is next, I hope the next two decades are as special as my last 20 years as a professional have been. Again, a huge thanks to everyone who helped me along that path. “