Paul Scholes has today officially announced his retirement from football with immediate effect. Rumours had been circulating that he was considering adding another year to his playing career but the news has come out to squash all speculation. The Salford-born star has been the heartbeat of a United team for the best part of two decades but today a massive hole has been left at Old Trafford and he retires as one of the best players to have graced the Premier League.
“I am not a man of many words but I can honestly say that playing football is all I have ever wanted to do and to have had such a long and successful career at Manchester United has been a real honour. This was not a decision that I have taken lightly but I feel now is the right time for me to stop playing. To have been part of the team that helped the Club reach that 19th title is a great privilege.”
They say you should quit when your winning and this is exactly what Paul has decided to do. In a career that spanned 17 years, he notched up over 450 appearances and scored over 100 goals on the way. He has been part of a United team that has eaten away at Liverpool’s English League record and closes his career as United step into the limelight as the single most successful club in the history of England. His glorious array of passing ability has left him an idol in the hearts of every fan and I can’t believe he won’t be playing next season at all. Xavi and Iniesta openly admired and appreciated what a talent Scholes has been for United and he remains one of the most naturally talented players to have played for United under Sir Alex Ferguson.
“I would like to thank the fans for their tremendous support throughout my career, I would also like to thank all the coaches and players that I have worked with over the years, but most of all I would like to thank Sir Alex for being such a great manager, from the day I joined the club his door has always been open and I know this team will go on to win many more trophies under his leadership.”
I don’t think we need any thanks from you Paul because the thanks should be going the other way. Whenever we needed a moment of magic, a splitting pass or a crunching tackle to re-gain possession, you were there over the years. Now, Ryan Giggs stands alone as the last remaining member of the fabled class of 1992 and times are changing at United. When I am 50, I will be able to tell my kids how I was lucky enough to see Paul Scholes play his whole career out and remind them of what a glorious player he was. We will get one last time to see Scholes pull on the red of Manchester in his testimonial match that has been announced for August. He might have retired from football but he will always remain at the forefront of our memories. Thanks Paul and good luck in the coaching role.