Former England striker Jermain Defoe has announced his retirement from professional football at 39. The striker returned to Sunderland this season with his contract running until the end of the season. Defoe started his career at West Ham and went on to represent Tottenham, Rangers, Bournemouth, and Toronto FC. He scored 32 goals from 74 matches at Rangers, helping them to win the Scottish Premiership title last season.
“After 22 years in the game, I have decided to retire from professional football. It’s been a really tough decision, and one I have discussed with my family and those closest to me,” former England striker Jermain Defoe said. “I made my professional debut at 17 years old in 1999, and I feel now is the right time to bow out. I have had an incredible journey and have met some amazing people in the game. Football will always remain in my blood, and it gives me great pride and satisfaction to look back on the blessed career that I’ve had. I now look forward to spending some quality time with my friends and family before moving forward on this next chapter in my career.”
“Thank you to all the fans from each club I’ve played for. The love I have received and endured throughout my career will never be forgotten, and I will always have a special bond with you all,” he added. “Thank you also to my amazing teammates, coaches, and staff for playing such an integral part in my career. Lastly, I want to say thank you to my mum. You gave me a ball at two years old, and you made me believe my dream could happen. All that I am is because of you, and I owe everything to you and God.”