Jermain Defoe: Sunderland and former England, Tottenham, West Ham and Rangers striker retires | football-news

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Jermain Defoe has announced his retirement from professional football at the age of 39.

Former West Ham and Tottenham striker Defoe had been playing for Sunderland, after returning to the club where he spent two-and-a-half seasons between 2015 and 2017, in January. His contract with him there was due to run until the end of the season.

Prior to rejoining Sunderland, Defoe was at Rangers where he scored 32 goals in 74 matches, helping them win the Scottish Premiership title last season.

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Defoe, Ryan Taylor and Martin Tyler look back to the 2015 Tyne-Wear derby and Defoe’s stunning winner for Sunderland against Newcastle

Defoe said in a statement on Twitter: “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.

“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.

“I now look forward to spending some quality time with my friends and family before moving forward on this next chapter in my career.”

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After Defoe announced his retirement from football, watch a selection of his best Premier League goals for Tottenham, Portsmouth, Sunderland and Bournemouth

He also paid tribute to supporters, team-mates, coaches and staff at the teams he’s played for before reserving a special thank you to his mother.

“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.”

Beckton-born Defoe played youth football for renowned east London club Senrab before deciding to sign professional forms with West Ham in 1999, aged 16. He made his first-team debut a year later.

Defoe scored 19 goals in 31 appearances during a loan spell at Bournemouth, including netting in a record 10 consecutive league games.

The striker finished the 2001/02 season as West Ham’s top goalscorer, and scored a total of 41 goals in 105 games for the club, but he was unable to save the Hammers from relegation the following season, despite another double-digit goal return.

Defoe handed in a written transfer request less than 24 hours after West Ham’s relegation, but ended up staying at the club before making a switch to Tottenham.

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Defoe said it was difficult to accept his time at Rangers was coming to an end, but not playing was affecting him mentally

He made his England debut a few months after joining Spurs, winning the first of a total of 57 caps during his career.

Defoe spent three-and-a-half seasons with Tottenham before joining Portsmouth in January 2008, scoring 17 goals in 36 games for Pompey, but moved back to Spurs a year later, signing for his former manager at West Ham, Harry Redknapp.

Across both spells at Tottenham, Defoe racked up 363 appearances, scoring 143 goals, before moving abroad to join Toronto FC early in 2014.

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Defoe reveals his best strike partner and who is the funniest footballer in a round of quickfire questions on The Transfer Show

But his stay at the MLS club lasted only 11 months, with Defoe returning to England to join Sunderland. He spent two-and-a-half seasons on Wearside, and moved to Bournemouth in 2017 before an initial loan move to Rangers in 2019 was made permanent.

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Defoe: Retirement came after two-day conversation with my mum

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Jermain Defoe announces his retirement from professional football at the age of 39. The former England, West Ham and Tottenham striker, who had been playing at Sunderland, says he is proud of what he has achieved in the game.

Jermaine Defoe has revealed his decision to call time on his playing career arrived after a prolonged conversation with his mum last weekend.

“It was obviously a tough decision because when it’s your dream growing up to play football at the top level, knowing at some stage you’ll have to stop is unthinkable, you can never imagine stopping,” he told Sky Sports.

“To get to 39 is good going. I’m proud of what I’ve done but I don’t think it’s sunk in yet to be honest, I think it’ll take a while. I think it’s the right time. Over the years I’ve always asked players that are friends that have stopped playing, ‘Did you know straight away it was the right time to stop? Why did you stop?’

“It’s something I’ve been thinking about for a couple of weeks. I was in London at the weekend spending some time with my family, I had a two-day conversation with my mum, spoke about Sunderland and the club. It was just an honest conversation, she said some interesting stuff. She asked me how my body was and how I feel. I was just honest, I said, ‘I think it’s the right time for me to stop, mum’.

“I’d never like to get into a situation where you long it out. There’s many factors, you’re blocking the way for a youngster to come through, you’ve got to listen to your body, I understand the aches and pains are part and parcel as you get older. It’s been a tough decision but I believe in my heart it’s the right one.”

Defoe’s retirement announcement statement in full

“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.

“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.

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Following the news of Jermain Defoe’s retirement, Matthew Upson tells The Football Show what it was like to play against Defoe.

“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.

“Thank you also to my amazing team-mates, 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 .”



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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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