Former Arsenal and England star Wilshere retires

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Former Arsenal and England star Jack Wilshere has announced his retirement from football at the age of 30.

Wilshere said this week he was considering his options after he and Danish Superliga side AGF mutually parted ways, having spent less than five months with the club.

The midfielder spent 10 seasons with Arsenal after coming through the Premier League side's youth system and is reportedly set to re-join them as a youth coach.

He won the FA Cup twice with the Gunners and was named PFA Young Player of the Year as well as taking the club's player of the season award after a superb 2010-11 campaign.

After leaving Arsenal in 2018, Wilshere went on to represent West Ham and Bournemouth, with whom he had previously had a loan spell.

He also earned 34 caps for England across a six-year period, representing his country at two major tournaments including the 2014 World Cup.

But Wilshere struggled badly with injuries throughout his career and ultimately revealed in a statement on Friday that he felt the time had come to stop playing.

The player released a post on social media that was tagged with the comment: "I've lived my dream. Thank you all."

Wilshere wrote: "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."

After thanking friends, family and some former coaches, Wilshere added: "Words will never do justice to the love and thanks I have for the Boss, Arsene [Wenger], 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."

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