Mon 02 August 2021 | 17:35

Former England winger Stewart Downing retired after 20 years

Stewart Downing, 37, announced his retirement after 20 years of professional football.

Stewart Downing

, who has made 725 club appearances and has played 35 times for


, has decided to end his professional career after 20 years. He was part of the squads for the 2006 World Cup and Euro 2012.

The last two years of his professional career were spent with Championship club


which was before he left Ewood Park at the end of June when his contract expired.

Speaking to Sky Sports News and reflecting on his career, Downing said:

"I think it is the right time, I have been thinking about it for the last season really.

"I signed back to Blackburn late last season and it has always been in the back of my mind that this might be my last season.

"I have got loads of great memories to look back on but I think playing for England is obviously the pinnacle.

"That's the stand out one for me, going to a World Cup and getting a couple of appearances was massive as well.

"I loved every minute playing for England, I wish I could have played more but it wasn't to be. I am very happy that I got plenty of caps."

The 37-year-old started his career at Middlesbrough in 2001. During his time at the Riverside Stadium, he made 234 appearances.

He then moved to Aston Villa after Middlesbrough’s relegation from the Premier League in 2009. Two years later, he then joined Liverpool.

He also spent two years with West Ham from 2013, before he returned to Middlesbrough where he helped the club to get back to the Premier League in 2016.

During his second spell, he made 170 appearances, and then he moved to his last club Blackburn in 2019.

Reflecting on his two spells at Middlesbrough, Downing added:

"I have got nothing but good things to say about Middlesbrough, my hometown club.

"I was lucky enough to play there twice. Growing up, my dream was to play for Middlesbrough as a boy.

"To fulfill that was unbelievable really, just playing in front of your family and friends week after week was a big buzz for me and one that I am really proud of."

source: SportMob

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