England’s Brave Gary Cahill has called time on his career, having been without a club since getting released by AFC Bournemouth at the end of last season. His last appearance for the Cherries came back in January. Prior to that, Cahill had spent a couple seasons at Crystal Palace as well, after leaving Chelsea in 2019.
The 36-year-old announced his retirement this morning, posting a statement and lovely message on social media.
Football is a game that has given me so much enjoyment and success and as I make the decision to hang up my boots, I can honestly say I gave it everything I had.
“I’ve achieved things I once dreamt of, creating some incredible memories. From amazing highs like winning the Champions League and Premier League, to the privilege of captaining my country and Chelsea in an FA Cup winning team will remain with me forever. I’ve also made some fantastic friendships with people across the football world, from teammates, managers, and the unsung heroes behind the scenes, I just want to say a massive thank you.
“Taking the decision to stop playing is not an easy one. I’ve spent 20 years training every day, putting in the work to be in the best possible shape for matchday to help the teams I’ve played for be successful. I’ve had time to consider my options and after much deliberation and reflection I feel now is the time to move on to the next stage of my career.
“A special thank you must go to my amazing family who have supported me and been there every step of the way. I now have the opportunity to spend some quality time with them which is something I’m looking forward to.
“Beyond that, football will always be part of who I am and what I love so this is just the end of this chapter. For me it’s important to look forwards not backwards as a new chapter in my life begins.”
-Gary Cahill; source: Instagram
Cahill made his name at Bolton Wanderers after coming up through the Aston Villa youth system, and joined Chelsea halfway through the 2011-12 season. The next six months of his career were among the most remarkable ever, going from a relegation battle in Bolton to being a key member of Chelsea’s magical Champions League campaign, including a gritty 120 minutes in the final on one hamstring (just like David Luiz, who’s one of the few still active players remaining from that final).
CHELSEA REWIND: On this day in 2019, Gary Cahill played his last game for Chelsea.— Chris Wright (@chriswrightzz) May 5, 2022
The fastest player in Premier League history to win every major trophy as he completed the clean sweep in just over 3 years. pic.twitter.com/udjkdlleD5
And the successes were only just beginning, with Cahill becoming a habitual trophy-collector. Over the next nearly 300 games in Chelsea shirt, he would win the league twice, the FA Cup twice, the Europa League twice, and even the League Cup once for good measure. He would chip in with 25 goals as well, maintaining the squad’s habit of goal-scoring defenders. And after John Terry’s departure in 2017, he also took over the Captain’s armband.
Cahill was never the flashiest, never the loudest, but almost always the most reliable. Also, he really liked orange juice, and never skipped a bicep curl.
Thanks for the memories, and best of luck in whatever what may come next!