Former Arsenal and England defender, Sol Campbell, announced his retirement from football yesterday, bringing to an end an illustrious 20-year playing career.

The 37-year-old has been without a club since he was released by Newcastle United at the end of 2010-11, having made just eight first-team appearances for the Magpies in an injury ravaged spell on Tyneside.

Campbell marked his professional debut for Tottenham Hotspur with a goal from the substitutes bench in 1992. The promising 18-year-old worked his way through the ranks at White Hart Lane, and later became Spurs captain, before a controversial free transfer move to bitter rivals Arsenal in 2001.

The transfer led to a deluge of criticism, with Tottenham fans labelling him ''Judas'' for moving across the north London divide. But, the decision proved to be a wise one, as Campbell went on to enjoy a hugely successful five-year spell under the stewardship of Arsene Wenger.

With two Premier League titles and two FA Cups to his name, Campbell was also part of the Gunners' 2003-04 'Invincibles' side. He also scored the club's only goal in their 2006 Champions League final defeat to Barcelona.

After leaving Arsenal, Campbell joined Portsmouth, where he added to his trophy collection by captaining the Fratton Park club to FA Cup glory in 2008.

A year later the ex-England international made a shock move to Notts County - then of League Two - following the arrival of Sven Goran Eriksson as manager. However, after just one appearance for the club, he left by mutual consent.

Campbell returned to Arsenal, initially to maintain his fitness, before re-signing for his former club for the remainder of the 2009-10 campaign. His final season was played at St. James' Park, with what turned out to be his last professional appearance in March 2011.

"It was a very hard decision. It's hard to let go when you have been a top sportsman for a long, long time," Campbell said during the announcement on Wednesday.

"To say that I am not going to play professional football again is difficult because I've had a long time at the top and I've put in a lot of work and it's taken a lot of dedication.

"I had a couple of offers to carry on - one from a Premier League team, and another from a team who have just been promoted to the Premier League, but I had a foot injury and by the time I'd recovered from that people had already moved on."

After his decision to call it a day and quit the game, GMF reflects on Campbell's career in numbers...

646

Campbell made a total of 646 appearances for five different clubs between 1992 and 2011 - Tottenham, Arsenal, Portsmouth, Notts County and Newcastle.

73

The centre-back was capped 73 times for England, and became the country's second youngest ever captain (after Bobby Moore) in 1998.

3

Three FA Cup winners' medals (two with Arsenal and one with Portsmouth) were all memorable moments in Campbell's career. During his time with England, he also took part in three World Cups and three European Championship - an ever present for the Three Lions in six consecutive major tournaments.

2

After winning the Premier League title in his first season at Highbury, to complete a memorable League and FA Cup double. Campbell's second domestic crown came in the memorable 2003-04 season, where Arsenal remained unbeaten for the entire campaign.

1

After signing a five-year deal with Notts County, Campbell's stay ended rather prematurely - after just one appearance. His debut came in a 2–1 defeat to Morecambe at Christie Park on 19 September 2011. Three days later, he walked out on the club and his contract was cancelled.

409

Over a year outside the game and looking for a club, Campbell finally hangs up his boots, 409 days after his last professional appearance.

Topics:
Arsenal
Football
Premier League
Sol Campbell