Three-time Hammer of the Year Scott Parker has thanked West Ham United and the Claret and Blue Army after announcing his retirement from professional football.
The England international midfielder enjoyed four outstanding seasons in east London between 2007-11, making 129 appearances, scoring 12 goals and being named Footballer of the Year in 2011.
Parker hung up his boots at the age of 36, ending a career that spanned 20 seasons, 572 senior games for West Ham, Charlton Athletic, Chelsea, Newcastle United Tottenham Hotspur and Fulham, 18 England caps and countless crunching tackles and lung-bursting runs.
“I have enjoyed so many incredible moments during my career,” Parker wrote in a statement released on Wednesday afternoon. “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.
“I would like to thank everyone at Charlton Athletic, Norwich City, Chelsea, Newcastle United, West Ham United, Tottenham Hotspur and Fulham for the unbelievable support that I've been shown throughout my time at each and every one of the club's I've been proud to represent.
Thank you to the fans of all of the clubs that I've been lucky enough to play for. Your support has meant everything to me
“Thank you to the fans of all of the clubs that I've been lucky enough to play for. Your support has meant everything to me and you've supported me throughout all of the ups and downs during my career. I hope I was able to repay the faith shown in me by my commitment and performances on the pitch.
“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.
“When 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.”
A central midfielder with boundless energy, unrivalled commitment and inspirational leadership qualities, Parker joined West Ham from Newcastle United for £7m in June 2007.
Over the next four seasons, he produced arguably the best football of his illustrious career, first under Gianfranco Zola and then during an otherwise disappointing 2010/11 campaign, when his seven goals and sensational personal performances were unable to save the Club from relegation.
Parker was voted Hammer of the Year for the first time in 2009, before winning the accolade again in 2010 and 2011, while his form also earned a recall to the senior England squad after a four-and-a-half year absence.
Everyone at West Ham United would like to thank Scott for his efforts, for the unforgettable memories he gave us, and wish him well in his retirement and whatever he chooses to do next.