Scott Parker announces retirement after 20-year career

Spurs' Scott Parker in action against Swindon on July 16, 2013
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Former England international Scott Parker announces his retirement from football after seeing his Fulham contract expire.

Former England international Scott Parker has announced his retirement from football after a 20-year professional career.

Parker brings down the curtain on his playing days following a four-year stint with Fulham, which came to an end this summer after his contract expired.

Rather than searching for a new club the 36-year-old has decided to call it a day, admitting that it was a tough call but one that he feels has come at the right time.

"The decision to retire has not been an easy one for me but having thought long and hard over it, and having discussed it with those closest to me, I believe that now is the right time to move on to the next chapter in my life and career," he said in a statement. "When I started my career at Charlton Athletic all those years ago I could only have dreamt at that time just what was to follow over the next two decades.

"I feel incredibly honoured and proud to have enjoyed the career that I have and I've loved every moment of it. I have enjoyed so many incredible moments during my career. From making my first team debut at Charlton, to playing regularly in the Premier League, playing in the Champions League to then playing in a major tournament for England, as well as ultimately fulfilling a lifelong dream by captaining my country. There are just too many highlights to mention."

Parker has spent time at seven different clubs across the past two decades, including spells at Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and Newcastle United, while also earning 18 caps at international level with England.

"I would like to thank everyone at Charlton Athletic, Norwich City, Chelsea, Newcastle United, West Ham United, Tottenham Hotspur and Fulham for the unbelievable support that I've been shown throughout my time at each and every one of the club's I've been proud to represent," he added.

"Thank you to the fans of all of the clubs that I've been lucky enough to play for. Your support has meant everything to me and you've supported me throughout all of the ups and downs during my career. I hope I was able to repay the faith shown in me by my commitment and performances on the pitch.

"I would like to thank all of my teammates over the course of my career as well as the coaches and managers that I've played under. I've learnt a huge amount from everyone that I've worked with that I have no doubt will hugely benefit me in my next career chapter. Finally, and most importantly, I would like to thank my family for all of their unconditional love and support throughout."

Parker won the Intertoto Cup during his time at Newcastle in 2006 and the League Cup with Chelsea a year prior, but his greatest individual achievement was arguably being named the Football Writers' Player of the Year award in the 2010-11 season.

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