West Ham fans react as former captain Joe Cole retires

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…