After 56 England caps, three World Cup tournaments, three Premier League titles, two FA Cups and a Champions League Final, former Coventry City midfielder Joe Cole has retired from professional football.
Cole joined The Sky Blues in October 2015, initially on loan from Aston Villa, before making the move permanent three months later, and acted as a role model both on and off the pitch for young players like James Maddison breaking through into the City team, passing on invaluable experience.
Under the stewardship of Tony Mowbray, Cole would make 22 appearances for The Sky Blues, scoring twice but such was the excitement around his arrival that not even the Club’s social media team could even quite believe a player with such credentials had come through The Ricoh Arena doors.
When asked about his decision to drop down from The Championship and ply his trade in League One, Cole’s love for playing football was clear for all to see; “playing away at Rochdale, or sitting on my bum watching tele? It’s a no brainer!”
— Coventry City (@Coventry_City) October 16, 2015
At the end of the 2015/2016 Season, Cole would move across the pond and joined United Soccer League side Tampa Bay Rowdies, becoming a player/coach until his retirement today.
“It has been a dream come true. All of it,” said Cole. “I hope the next two decades are as special as my last 20 years as a professional have been.
“My favourite thing about being a professional footballer was the feeling you enjoy after coming back into the dressing room after a win. It will be difficult to replicate that but I’ll always remember all of my former team-mates who I shared that experience with.
“I’ve been incredibly fortunate to have played with some of the very best players of my era and even more fortunate to call a lot of them friends.