James Collins Makes Retirement Announcement
Social media, as seems to the be case for most modern-day footballers, has proved Collins’ choice of a press release. He took to his personal Instagram account to announce that he is retiring.
In an Instagram post, Collins said: “This will not come as a surprise to most people, as I haven’t played for a season now.
“But today with a heavy heart I’ve decided to officially retire from football.
“After a lot of thought, I believe this is the best thing to do so I can draw a line under my 20-year career and move on to my next chapter in life.”
It has most definitely proved to be a rich career.
How It Began
Collins – although born just down the road in Newport – began his career as a trainee at Cardiff City. At the time, Cardiff were languishing in the old Divison Three (now League Two), the bottom tier of the English Football League.
November 19, 2000, is a date that Collins will never forget, as this date marked his professional debut. He played in Cardiff’s 5-1 FA Cup first-round victory over Bristol Rovers. However, few of the Cardiff City fans who witnessed Collins’ debut could have predicted that he would later become a household name in Wales.
Throughout the remainder of the 2000/01 season, he continued to be integrated into the Cardiff City first team. Collins made a further five appearances that season.
In total, Collins made 57 appearances for Cardiff before West Ham United came knocking for his services. In the summer of 2005, they signed Collins; he would become a fans’ favourite during two spells at the East London club.
By 2009, Collins was on the move to Aston Villa in a £5 million transfer. He made over 100 appearances for Villa before leaving in the summer of 2012. He would return to West Ham, who paid £2.5 million to Villa to re-sign their former defender.
It is fair to say, that West Ham pulled-off quite a deal. Not only was it half the original fee that Villa paid them, but Collins would be a vital signing for the Hammers.
It is now over two years since Collins left West Ham, yet he enjoyed his time so much, that he reserves a special mention for their fans.
Collins added: “I spent 11 years at this wonderful football club (West Ham) and still think about it every day.
“A club where I had the best time of my life for such a long time and gave my all every day. Without West Ham and you amazing fans, my life wouldn’t be what it is today.”
After leaving West Ham in January 2019, Collins joined Championship club Ipswich Town. However, he was unable to help Town’s appalling season, as even before his arrival, Ipswich were seemingly doomed to their eventual relegation to League One.
At the end of the 2018/19 season, and upon Ipswich’s relegation, he departed the club. He has since failed to agree a contract at any other club, hence the 37-year-old has finally called time on his professional career. A career that also includes 51 caps for the Welsh National team.
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