Liverpool’s former wonderkid right-back Jon Flanagan forced to retire aged 29 due to recurring knee injury..
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Liverpool’s former wonderkid right-back Jon Flanagan forced to retire aged 29 due to recurring knee injury..

Liverpool announced through their official website on Tuesday that the club’s former England international wonderkid right-back, Jon Flanagan, has regretfully announced his immediate retirement from his playing career after suffering from a knee injury that could not be cured for many years.




Flanagan wrote on Liverpool’s official website: “After much deliberation, I regret that I had to make the most difficult decision in my life, which is to retire from professional football.”


“Despite trying everything possible and putting in all the hard work I have done over the past 14 months to recover from my most recent knee surgery, the doctors are aware that my knee injury is serious and that there is nothing more important than my long-term health. Thus after following the medical advice, I think it’s the right decision to retire now.”


“Since I was a child, my dream was to become a professional football player, and now I have lived that dream of mine for a while. Being able to play for and skippered my boyhood club Liverpool as well as being selected for the national team will be the happiest and most beautiful experiences in my life. These memories will be enought to keep me unforgettable for the rest of my life, and I am very fortunate to be able to experience a life that many people dream of but may not be able to achieve.”


“I would like to thank everyone who helped me in the process of realizing my dream, especially my girlfriend, family, friends, teammates, coaches and agents. I am very fortunate to have you in my life.”


“I would also like to thank all the clubs I’ve played for, the fans of Liverpool, Rangers, Burnley, Bolton Wanderers, Sporting Charleroi and HB Køge for their enthusiastic support over the years. You guys have made my footballer’s career journey amazing and unforgettable with your support.”


“Next, I will be preparing to enter another new chapter in my football career, and I am very excited about what the future brings. See you soon, Flanno.”


Reds’ homegrown genius


Flanagan, like the current right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold, came from Liverpool’s famous Melwood youth training system and was a born and raised local Liverpudlian. Flanagan predominantly plays mainly a right-back, but he can also be deployed as a left-back. He also has Irish nationality. His uncle, Bradley Orr, also serves as a right- back like himself, is a Bristol City legend.


Flanagan was promoted to the first team by Liverpool’s legendary player cum coach, Sir “King” Kenny Douglish in late 2010, and made his first team debut in April the following year. Subsequently, due to the serious injury of England international right-back Glen Johnson at the time, Flanagan still acted as a capable substitute  several times with excellent performance despite his inexperience, and even won the 2010 Liverpool Best Young Player Award.


Flanagan, who has been injured intermittently in his knee since 2012, played through injuries many times, but still gave good performances very professionally, and even scored a wonder-goal against Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League on December 15, 2013. As a result he was praised by previous head coaches Roy Hodgson and Brendan Rodgers.


In March 2016, Flanagan was appointed acting captain by current manager Jürgen Klopp in the Premier League game against Southampton. However, it was only not long after, that Flanagan relapsed due to a knee injury, and even after being loaned to Burnley and Bolton Wanderers respectively, his injuries could not be cured properly, paving the way of how his career would pan out in the future.


In the summer of 2018, after his contract with Liverpool was expired, Flanagan joined Rangers, managed by his former teammate, Reds’ legendary captain, Steven Gerrard. Although Flanagan performed well in his first season after joining, it is a pity that his old injuries recurred and he was released after his contract has expired.


After leaving the Scottish Premiership giants, Flanagan moved to Belgium to join Sporting Charleroi on a free transfer in November 2020, but he was later released from the contract after failing to play at all due to injury.


Last season, Flanagan became another the first player Reds ex-teammate, former Danish legendary international centre-back Daniel Agger signed as head coach of HB Køge.


However, Flanagan was once again tormented by his recurring knee injury and was faced with a state of being unable to play after making only five appearances for the Danish 1st Division club.


At international level, Flanagan made his only senior England appearance in June 2014, coming off the bench for former team-mate Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.


Full of blessings from teammates


Following news of Flanagan’s retirement, Liverpool and Rangers stars and legends from the past and present including Lazar Marković, Charlie Adam, Martin Skrtel, Daniel Sturridge, Jay Spearing, Agger, Gerrard, Dalglish, Jamie Carragher, José Enrique, Andy Robertson, Alexander-Arnold, Jordan Henderson, Oxlade-Chamberlain, James Tavernier, Klopp’s assistant John Achterberg, and his England teammate Ross Barkley also sent their blessings to Flanagan.


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