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West Ham's 'boy wonder' retires

Filed: Tuesday, 13th November 2018
By: Staff Writer

Joe Cole has announced his retirement from football at the age of 37.

Cole, who emerged from West Ham's Academy under the tutelege of Tony Carr has hung up his boots after 716 matches and 104 goals for United, Chelsea, Liverpool, Lille, Aston Villa, Coventry City and the Tampa Bay Rowdies plus 56 caps for England.

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Speaking via a statement released on Tuesday, Cole said: ""After 20 years as a professional, the time has come for me to hang up my boots. It has been a dream come true. All of it.

"Whatever is next, I hope the next two decades are as special as my last 20 years as a professional have been. A huge thanks to everyone who helped me along that path."

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The Paddington-born youngster joined West Ham as an eight-year-old and made his first team debut for the Hammers in January 1999 at the age of just 17 in a 1-1 draw with Swansea in the FA Cup.

He was to spend the next five years at West Ham before being sold to Chelsea for a cut-price 6million in the summer of 2003, following the club's relegation from the Premiership.

However he returned to the Boleyn Ground for a swansong in 2013, before moving to Aston Villa 18 months later.

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"I've been incredibly fortunate to have played with some of the very best players of my era and even more fortunate to call a lot of them friends.

"Winning trophies at Chelsea was particularly special for me. Those memories will live with me forever, as will the chance I had to share them with my family.

"Looking to the future, I want to stay involved in the game. I feel I can offer a lot as a coach. To lend my experience to help other young footballers achieve their dreams, just like I did, is a big passion of mine."

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Joe Cole: West Ham's boy wonder

Premier League: 157 apps, 15 goals
FA Cup: 12 apps, 2 goals
League Cup: 12 apps, 1 goal
Other: 5 apps, 0 goals

Total Appearances: 186 (145 starts, 41 as sub)
Total Goals: 18

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