Parker hangs up his boots

Scott Parker has decided to call time on his career by announcing his retirement at the age of 36.

The former England midfielder enjoyed two decades in the Premier League with Chelsea, Newcastle, West Ham and Tottenham, having made his name at Charlton Athletic, before winding down his career at Fulham.

Parker won the Football Writers' Player of the Year award in the 2010/11 season while other individual awards include being named Charlton Athletic Player of the Year for 2003, PFA Young Player of the Year 2004, West Ham United Hammer of the Year three years running, and England Player of the Year in 2011, to name but a few.

He also claimed a number of club honours including winning the then First Division with the Addicks in 2000, the Premier League and League Cup with Chelsea in 2005, as well as the Intertoto Cup with Newcastle.

Parker's retirement statement read: "The decision to retire has not been an easy one for me but having thought long and hard over it, and having discussed it with those closest to me, I believe that now is the right time to move on to the next chapter in my life and career.

"When I started my career at Charlton Athletic all those years ago I could only have dreamt at that time just what was to follow over the next two decades. I feel incredibly honoured and proud to have enjoyed the career that I have and I've loved every moment of it.

"I have enjoyed so many incredible moments during my career. From making my first team debut at Charlton to playing regularly in the Premier League, playing in the Champions League to then playing in a major tournament for England, as well as ultimately fulfilling a lifelong dream by captaining my country. There are just too many highlights to mention."

He continued: "I would like to thank all of my teammates over the course of my career as well as the coaches and managers that I've played under. I've learnt a huge amount from everyone that I've worked with that I have no doubt will hugely benefit me in my next career chapter.

"Finally, and most importantly, I would like to thank my family for all of their unconditional love and support throughout. My wife Carly, and all of her family, and our sons Frankie, Murphy, Sonny and Rafa have been there for me through everything and I thank them from the bottom of my heart. Thank you too to my Mum and Dad, who I hope I've made proud. Without them, all nothing would have been possible.

"When I was a boy I dreamt of becoming a professional football player and I feel very honoured to have accomplished my dream. I have always tried to set high standards on and off the pitch. I hope most of all throughout my career I have been a good role model not only to my sons but also to all of my teammates who played with me as well as all those who supported me.

"I'm now looking forward to the next chapter of my life and career and hope to make an announcement soon with regards to what that will be."