Danny Drinkwater, 33, announces retirement from football on podcast after falling out of love with game
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Danny Drinkwater has announced his retirement from professional football.
He has been "in limbo" since that much-talked-about release and, although he has received a number of offers from Championship clubs, Drinkwater has decided to call it a day.
Speaking to The High Performance podcast, he said: "I'd just like to announce my retirement from professional football.
"It's probably been a long time coming, especially with the last year, but I think it's time to officially announce it now.
"I didn't think it would bother me but saying it then it's almost like scratching a nerve a bit. I think I've been ready for it, not stopping at my peak and it's simmered down a bit, that's helped the transition."
Drinkwater added: "I think I've been in limbo for too long, I've either been wanting to play but not getting the opportunities to play at a level where I felt valued.
"I just thought I'm restless here for no reason, I'm happy not playing football, but I'm happy playing football, so do I just shake hands with the sport?
"It's all I've known, it's been my life since I was six or seven, it was never going to be an easy thing.
"I think the way it's died down has definitely helped. If I was playing week in, week out and had to stop through injury or age I think it would be trickier.
"I've had quite a few offers from Championship clubs, but I never felt the burn, it did nothing for me."
Today, hear a Premier League winner announce his retirement from the game and tell you his story, in his words, when he started to struggle.— Jake Humphrey (@mrjakehumphrey) October 30, 2023
And instead of the banal, boring ‘drinkbeer’ replies and criticism, listen to the full emotional conversation and hear Danny Drinkwater… pic.twitter.com/KqGJ0XNiT4
As well as speaking about his time at Chelsea, who offered him a coaching role a year before his contract expired, Drinkwater admitted he was comfortable with bowing out after such a productive spell in football.
He said: "I do miss playing but if something wasn't to come in again this window that didn't excite me, and I decided to knock it on the head properly... what can I say?
"Football has given me some absolutely great years. It's also given me some sh*** times but the good years definitely outweigh the bad.
"I was able to buy my mum and dad the dream bungalow. I've been able to take care of my family so am I going to sit here and say football is sh**? No chance. Has it been ideal for me and my position now? 100% Was it a dream as a kid? 100%.
"The last three years have been the toughest in regards to football but I'm not going to sit here and complain.”
Drinkwater's last competitive game was a 1-0 defeat to West Brom on April 30, 2022, while playing on loan for then-Championship side Reading.