Jermain Defoe has retired from professional football at the age of 39.
“I was lucky as a kid given the support I had from my mum as a single parent,” Defoe posted on his Twitter account.
“The support from my mum has been unbelievable every single game. She gave me a ball when I was two years old in a park and my love for the game started there.
“Winning a league title with Rangers was really special as that is what you play the game for. It happened at the back-end of my career which felt right.
“I’ve got so many memories which is important. All I’ve ever done was work hard. In every club I’ve ever been at, I just wanted to make the manager proud and impress. I’ve never cut any corners. I’ve done it the hard way, eating well, sleeping well.
“I’ve just tried to give myself the best opportunity to have a good career.”
Defoe, who re-joined the Black Cats in February, scored 304 goals in 762 career club games and added 20 goals in 57 England appearances.
He also spent time at Portsmouth, Bournemouth and Major League Soccer club Toronto during his 22-year career.
— Jermain Defoe OBE (@IAmJermainDefoe) March 24, 2022