Jermain Defoe: Rangers title winner announces retirement from football

Former Rangers star Jermain Defoe has announced his retirement from football.

The 39-year-old hangs up his boots after 22 years in the game, playing for seven clubs, including Tottenham Hotspur, West Ham United and Sunderland.

Defoe spent three years at Rangers, helping the club win the Scottish Premiership title last season.

He scored 32 goals in 74 appearances before departing in January following the arrival of Giovanni van Bronckhorst having moved into a dual playing and coaching role under Steven Gerrard.

Jermain Defoe has retired from playing. (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)

The striker returned to Sunderland at the end of that month but made just seven appearances, five of those from the bench.

Defoe, who represented England 57 times scoring 20 goals, penned a heartfelt retirement statement where he explained his decision and thanked his mum for the role she has played in his career 325 goals in more than 800 games.

"After 22 years in the game, I have decided to retire from professional football,” he said. It’s been a really tough decision and one I have discussed with my family and those closest to me.

"I made my professional debut at 17 years old in 1999 and I feel now is the right time to bow out. I have had an incredible journey and have met some amazing people in the game.

"Football will always remain in my blood and it gives me great pride and satisfaction to look back on the blessed career that I’ve had. I now look forward to spending some quality time with my friends and family before moving forward on this next chapter in my career.

He continued: "Thank you to all the fans from each club I’ve played for. The love I have received and endured throughout my career will never be forgotten and I will always have a special bond with you all.

"Thank you also to my amazing team mates, coaches and staff for playing such an integral part in my career.

"Lastly, I want to say thank you to my mum. You gave me a ball at two years old and you made me believe my dream could happen. All that I am is because f you and I owe everything to you and God.”

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