Arsenal and England legend Theo Walcott retires from football at 33
Our former winger joined us from Southampton in January 2006 and went on to make 397 appearances for us, scoring 108 goals. He also represented Everton before returning to the Saints last season.
He was a member of our FA Cup-winning squads in 2015 and 2017, and he scored the game-winning goal against Aston Villa in 2015.
Theo wrote on Instagram, “The first time I put my football boots on at the age of ten was a special journey for me.” From playing in the park with friends to performing in some of the world’s largest stadiums in front of massive crowds.
“The support shown to me throughout this time has been incredible, and I am truly grateful in every way imaginable.” I shared the pitch with so many fantastic players, and we made so many unforgettable moments.
“I’d like to thank all of the managers and coaches I’ve worked with, especially Harry [Redknapp] for giving me a chance and Arsene [Wenger] for believing in me and supporting me when I first arrived at the club only 16 years old. Over 18 fantastic years in the Premier League, there are so many moments I will cherish.”
“My early days at Southampton Football Club, my move to Arsenal where I spent 12 enjoyable years scoring over 100 goals, winning the FA Cup and scoring in the final, which is every child’s dream.” I will never forget the feeling of being able to represent England 47 times, to go to the World Cup in 2006 at the age of 17, and to still hold the record for the youngest-ever debut by a senior England player and the youngest hat-trick goalscorer at 19 years old.
“I’ve had offers to continue playing, but it feels right to finish where I began and hang up my football boots.” “I’d like to thank everyone who has supported me along the way.”
Theo made his debut for us in August 2006, coming on as a substitute against Aston Villa in the first game of the season and making an immediate impression, teeing up Gilberto for a late equalise in what was the first official game at Emirates Stadium.
Theo scored his first goal for the club in the 2007 League Cup final against Chelsea and became only the 18th player in our history to reach 100 goals in February 2017 in a 2-0 FA Cup win over Sutton United.
Theo became England’s youngest-ever senior player in May 2006, making his debut against Hungary at the age of 17 years and 75 days. During his time at Arsenal, he made 47 appearances for the Three Lions, scoring eight goals in a decade with the national side.