Jack Wilshere has announced his retirement from professional football at the age of 30.
The former Arsenal midfielder won 34 international caps after making his debut as an 18-year-old in 2010.
Wilshere was named PFA Young Player of the Year at the end of the 2010-11 season but missed the entirety of the next Premier League season, beginning an extended period blighted by injury.
A boyhood West Ham fan, Wilshere joined the east London club in 2018 either side of spells at Bournemouth.
He last represented Danish club AGF, appearing 14 times for the Superliga side, who confirmed that they would not be renewing Wilshere’s contract earlier this week.
“Today I am announcing my retirement from playing professional football,” Wilshere said in a post on social media.
“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.”
The technically-gifted Wilshere played nearly 200 times for Arsenal after coming through the club’s academy, winning the FA Cup twice (2014 and 2015).
He admitted disappointment at having to bring his career to what he feels is a premature close.
“In truth it has been difficult to accept that my career has been slipping away 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 huge 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 talk 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 have enjoyed every moment of my career and it has been the journey of a lifetime. Now is the right time t o close this chapter but I still have so much to give to the game and I am excited about what the future holds.”
The Athletic report that Wilshere is set to return to Arsenal as head coach of the club’s Under-18s.