Chelsea legend Gary Cahill has today announced his retirement from football.
The former Chelsea captain, who turns 37 next month, made the announcement on his social media accounts on Wednesday morning, having most recently played for Bournemouth in the Championship last term. You can read his message in full below.
Cahill spent seven-and-a-half seasons at Stamford Bridge and gave the best years of his career to the Blues, helping us lift eight major honours including two Premier League titles and that memorable maiden Champions League crown, which came just months after he signed from Bolton Wanderers.
He arrived as a solid Premier League defender but few could have predicted the impact he would go on to have over the course of his time in SW6. The imposing Yorkshireman will be most remembered for the role he played in those trophy successes, which also included two Europa League wins, two FA Cups and one League Cup. He was named in the PFA Team of the Year on three separate occasions, in 2013/14, 2014/15 and 2016/17.
The defender was a near ever-present on both occasions he won the Premier League, first alongside John Terry in 2014/15, and then on the left of a back three having had to alter his game in 2016/17. Of course, no Chelsea supporter will ever forget the part he played on the club’s greatest night when we were crowned European champions in 2012.
Having picked up an injury in the second leg of the Champions League semi-final against Barcelona, there was a real chance he would not make the ultimate showpiece fixture, but with Terry and Branislav Ivanovic suspended, both Cahill and David Luiz were asked to play through the pain barrier for what proved, as they must have been dreading given some much training missed in the preceding weeks, the maximum 120 minutes.
Cahill played his full part in standing up to wave after wave of Bayern Munich pressure as we defied the odds to overcome the Germans on penalties in their own stadium.
Fast forwarding from that initial triumph, Cahill was appointed club captain in 2017 following Terry’s departure, a decision which went down well with both fans and team-mates alike. Consistent and reliable whenever called upon, it was a huge honour for a man who had never let us down.
His final runout at the Bridge came as a late substitute in May 2019 when he made his 291st Chelsea appearances, those games having yielded 25 goals of his. Munich, title triumphs and Wembley wins, Cahill achieved it all during his time at Chelsea, before going on to play another two seasons in the Premier League with Crystal Palace.
A great player, a great captain and a great man. He arrived at a big club with big dreams, ones he will probably admit he did not expect to be realised so quickly and to such an extent, and left a club legend.
Enjoy your retirement, Gaz!