London: Former Arsenal forward Theo Walcott retired from soccer Friday at age 34 after an 18-year career.
Walcott scored 129 goals in 560 games for Southampton, Arsenal, and Everton. He made 47 appearances for England.
At age 17, Walcott was surprisingly named in Sven-Goran Eriksson’s squad for the 2006 World Cup and holds the record of being the country’s youngest-ever player. He scored eight goals for England.
Walcott began and ended his career with Southampton, breaking into the first team at age 16 in 2005 and returning to St. Mary’s in 2020.
“I’m lucky enough to have had offers to continue playing, but it feels right to finish where I started and hang up my football boots,” he wrote on Instagram.
Walcott scored 108 goals in 397 appearances over 12 seasons played at Arsenal before he left for Everton in January 2018.
“The support shown to me throughout this time has been incredible in every way imaginable and I am truly grateful,” he wrote. “I’ve shared the football pitch with so many incredible players and we have created so many unforgettable memories.”