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Carlton hangs up his boots

Filed: Thursday, 29th March 2018
By: Staff Writer

Carlton Cole had decided to call time on an illustrious playing career after 18 years as a professional.

Cole, still only 34, confirmed the news of his retirement from playing in an interview with whufc.com - but still intends to remain very much involved in the game.

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"Iím still getting offers to play, but the fact is that I feel I am in a different space right now and I want to move on with my life and help others," he said. "I have been mentoring a few kids who are aspiring to play football and Iíve set up my own consultancy business aimed at youngsters.

"Aimed at grass roots level, it's getting them off the streets and hopefully giving them better opportunities to make it at the top level. It is something I am very passionate and serious about and I want to give it my full focus now."

Cole, who was training most recently with Wimbledon began his pro career at Chelsea, with whom he first signed in October 2000. Having failed to hold down a regular spot at Stamford Bridge he joined the Hammers in a cut price £2million transfer.

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Upon signing the then-22-year-old, Alan Pardew insisted that "I believe we can bring the best out of him and make him a great asset to West Ham United."

And whilst Pardew himself may have been unable to follow through with his promise, Cole did indeed prove to be a "great asset" to the club, for whom he went on to make almost 300 appearance in two spells at the Boleyn Ground.

Since leaving east London, Cole has spent time with Celtic, Sacramento Republic and Persib Bandung before deciding to hang up his boots. However his fondness for the Hammers - with whom he spent the bulk of his pro career - is clear to see.

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