Stewart Downing calls on time on career at age of 37

Stewart Downing has announced his retirement from football at the age of 37.

The winger has brought to an end a 20-year professional career that saw him make more than 700 club appearances and play 35 times for England, where he was a part of the squads for the 2006 World Cup and 2012 European Championship.

Downing most recently spent a two-year spell with Championship club Blackburn, before leaving Ewood Park at the end of June when his contract expired.

Reflecting on his career, Downing said in a post on Twitter: “After some time to relax and reflect with my family over the summer, I have decided the time has come to retire.

“I would like to thank all the football clubs I played for and all of the fantastic fans and staff. I would like to thank all of the great managers I played for.

“As a kid, I could only have dreamed of playing for the clubs I played for and getting to share a pitch with some of the players I shared a pitch with. I played with and against some unbelievable players over the years.

“I look back at the 35 times I played for England with immense pride and I made some incredible memories that will last a lifetime.

“I feel very lucky and unfortunate to have had the career I had.”

Downing began his career at Middlesbrough in 2001 and went on to feature more than 200 times during his first spell at the Riverside Stadium.

He left for Aston Villa following Middlesbrough’s relegation from the Premier League in 2009, before joining Liverpool in 2011.

A further two-year spell with West Ham followed from 2013, before he completed a return to Middlesbrough where he helped the club win promotion back to the top flight in 2016.

He would go on to feature a further 170 times for the Teesside club, before his final move to Blackburn in 2019.

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