James Collins: Ex-Wales, Cardiff City, West Ham and Aston Villa defender retires

James Collins
James Collins amde his Wales debut against Norway in 2004 and retired from international duty in 2017

Former Wales, West Ham, Cardiff City and Aston Villa defender James Collins has announced his retirement from playing.

Collins had been without a club since leaving Ipswich Town in May 2019.

The 37-year-old scored three goals in 51 appearances for Wales and was a member of the Euro 2016 squad.

“This will not come as a surprise to most people as I haven’t played for a season now,” Collins posted on Instagram.

“But 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.

“I would like to thank all the players and fans at all the clubs I played for.

James Collins
James Collins made over 80 appearances for Cardiff City

“Also all the players, staff and fans of Wales – as a boy to play for my country was a dream and I’m very proud to have gone on to get 51caps and loved every second.

Newport-born Collins began his career at Cardiff City and was used as a defender and forward during his time with the Bluebirds.

He joined West Ham, along with team-mate Danny Gabbidon in 2005, where he spent four seasons and was an FA Cup runner-up in 2006, before a move to Aston Villa in 2009.

Collins, who represented Wales at every level, returned to West Ham in August 2012 where he remained until his release in 2018.

He reserved a special mention for the Hammers, for whom he played 214 times during his two spells with the club, and said they would “forever be in my heart.”

“I spent 11 years at this wonderful football club and still think about it everyday,” Collins added.

“A club where I had the best time of my life for such a long time and gave my all everyday.”

Collins spent a short spell at Ipswich during the 2018-19 season, making six appearances before his departure from Portman Road.

BBC News