Former Chelsea and England defender Gary Cahill has announced his retirement from football.
Cahill made 22 Championship appearances for Bournemouth last season, but the last of those came in January and he was released following their promotion to the Premier League in May.
Having made his name during spells with Aston Villa and Bolton Wanderers, Cahill enjoyed a successful seven-year stint with Chelsea, making 191 Premier League appearances for the Blues.
Cahill won eight major trophies during his time at Stamford Bridge, including two Premier League titles and the Champions League – starting in Chelsea’s final win over Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena in 2012.
In a statement posted to Twitter, Cahill wrote: “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.
“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.
“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.”
Cahill won a total of 61 senior caps for England during his career, and appeared for the Three Lions at World Cups in 2014 and 2018, as well as at Euro 2016.
Speaking to Sky Sports after announcing his retirement, the 36-year-old revealed he received several offers to continue playing this campaign, but had opted to prioritise family matters.
“Obviously, it’s been a tough decision in some aspects but I think I just knew the journey had to come to an end at some stage – I just got the feeling that now is the right time,” Cahill said.
“I did have options. I could have played in the Premier League with one side, and I had a couple of options in the Championship which is flattering, to still get the offers.
“But at the moment, as well as my career, my kids are settled at school and it would’ve meant moving again.”