Former England international Stewart Downing has announced his retirement at the age of 37. His retirement marks the end of a two-decade-long career where he made 725 appearances in English football. He started off his career at Middlesborough and finished his career at Blackburn Rovers last season. He also played for Sunderland, Aston Villa, Liverpool, and West Ham in his career. Downing has 35 England caps to his name and was part of the squad for the 2006 World Cup and Euro 2012.
“I think it is the right time, I have been thinking about it for the last season really.” former England international Stewart Downing said. “I signed back to Blackburn late last season and it has always been in the back of my mind that this might be my last season. I have got loads of great memories to look back on but I think playing for England is obviously the pinnacle.”
“That’s the stand-out one for me, going to a World Cup and getting a couple of appearances was massive as well.” he added. “I loved every minute playing for England, I wish I could have played more but it wasn’t to be. I am very happy that I got plenty of caps.”
Downing signed for Aston Villa after Middlesborough got relegated in 2009 and then joined Liverpool two years later. He then spent another two years with West Ham from 2013 onwards before returning to Middlesborough.
“I have got nothing but good things to say about Middlesbrough, my hometown club,” he added. “I was lucky enough to play there twice. Growing up, my dream was to play for Middlesbrough as a boy. “To fulfill that was unbelievable really, just playing in front of your family and friends week after week was a big buzz for me and one that I am really proud of.”