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Theo Walcott announces his retirement as professional player

English footballer Theo Walcott announced his retirement from professional football on Friday. Walcott is well-known for his time at Arsenal between 2006 and 2018 when he signed for the club aged 17.

Walcott won three FA Cups with Arsenal and made 397 appearances for the Gunners, scoring 108 goals across all competitions.

Having come through Southampton’s academy, Walcott became the Saints’ youngest-ever first-team player when he made his senior debut aged 16 years and 143 days in August 2005.

Walcott also became England’s youngest player at the age of 17 years and 75 days when he appeared in a friendly win over Hungary in May 2006. He scored eight times for his country, including a hat-trick against Croatia in World Cup qualifying in 2008 which made him the youngest player to score a treble for the Three Lions.

The 34-year-old finished his professional career at Southampton when he signed for the Saints permanently in 2021. The club suffered relegation to the Championship at the end of the 2022-23 season.

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