Jack Collison came to West Ham United at age 16 from Cambridge United in 2005 and was promoted to the regular team just two years later.
Collison also began a senior international career in 2008, earning a total of 17 caps with the Welsh National Team.
He made 121 appearances for the senior Hammers through seven seasons from 2007 through 2014, suffering an initial MCL knee injury in August of 2008, then fatefully dislocated his kneecap during an away win at Wigan Athletic in March 2009.
It was this last injury that has nagged him almost annually ever since, curtailing what could have been a potentially brilliant career.
The midfielder was released by West Ham following short loan spells at Bournemouth and Wigan in 13/14.
He then signed with Ipswitch Town the following season before being released after only three months.
Collison signed with Peterborough United this past summer (his first youth club in 1998) until finally announcing his retirement at 27 as a player today, 13 February.
In a statement provided by the Jack Collison Soccer School website:
“I suppose this day has been coming for a while, but the harsh reality of actually admitting it and saying it, is very different to just thinking about it.
“In all honesty it has been on the cards for a while, but I have never been one to give up without a fight, and this fight against injury has truly been a mammoth battle.”
“I never in a million years dreamt at 27 years of age I would be having to announce my retirement, but then again I never thought I would have played in the premier league and for my country by the age of 19.
“I think every kid grows up dreaming of one day playing in packed stadiums against some of the best players in the world, I suppose the only difference is that I became obsessed with this dream at a young age and eventually accomplished it.
“I feel very blessed to have achieved what I did in my short time playing the game. However deep down I feel there will always be a sickening feeling of ‘what if’.
“The fact that I have never been fully fit since my knee injury at the age of 20 may haunt me in later life, but it is something I have grown comfortable enough to live with for the time being.
“It certainly wasn’t through a lack of effort and trying. I dedicated my life to the game and even more so to my knee. Hours in the gym, sleepless nights, countless operations and thousands of pounds visiting the best physios around the world, all so I could make it out on to the pitch.
“I’m happy that I can look myself in the mirror and say I threw my heart and soul into trying to accomplish my dreams.
“However the time has finally come to say, enough is enough, and admit my body can no longer cope with the demands of modern day football.”
Collison is expected to remain at Posh as a coach for their Under 18s.
Peterborough lost in an exciting 0-1 clash with West Bromwich Albion earlier this week, despite being favoured to qualify at 11/8.by