Joe Cole announced on Tuesday that he will be hanging up his playing boots and look to move into coaching, ending a 20-year senior career.
The Paddington-born ace emerged on the scene as a teenager, looked upon as England’s next great player who possessed a wealth of natural talent.
By the age of 21, the 5 foot 7 midfielder carried the West Ham armband as the Hammers fought for survival.
A move to Chelsea the year after saw Cole join a project that went on to win the Premier League three times, the FA Cup twice and finish as runners-up in the 2007-08 Champions League.
The potential was there for a glorious summer in Germany in 2006 as well, Cole starring for England as the Three Lions progressed to the quarter-finals of the World Cup.
Unfortunately, his career never quite got the rewards it deserved, as the Premier League was not ready for a creative midfielder in a world of 4-4-2s.
Now Cole will try look to try his hand as a coach, potentially producing the next ‘Joe Cole’ in a world that will appreciate the talent far more.
These West Ham fans certainly carry fond memories of the Irons’ academy star…
He was the player I wanted to be when I was a kid. I loved him. Was distraught when he left and overjoyed when he returned. Great player and a true gent from what I hear. Joe Cole, thank you ⚒#whufc #joecole pic.twitter.com/C4VkDyxImW
— Ali Jones (@Alibones2) November 13, 2018
— PsychoMafia (@PsychoMafia) November 13, 2018
— David Enever (@Juniord70) November 13, 2018
Happy retirement to a childhood favourite of mine, Joe Cole. #WHUFC
— J.Steel.WHU (@BecontreeHammer) November 13, 2018
— World At Your Feet (@WorldAYF) November 13, 2018
— Ryan (@ryanjohneaton) November 13, 2018
You know you’re getting old when Joe Cole retires from football. Technically he is one of the best players I have had the privilege to watch especially in his younger days at west ham. Hopefully he stays in the game to pass on his knowledge to the next generation #COYI pic.twitter.com/u725d0YTpx
— Ryan Archer⚒ (@ryanarcher84) November 13, 2018