Wayne Bridge Reportedly Retires at Age 33 Due to Injury

Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistMay 6, 2014

READING, ENGLAND - AUGUST 17: Wayne Bridge of Reading attacks during the Sky Bet Championship match between Reading v Watford at The Madejski Stadium on August 17, 2013 in Reading, England. (Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images)
Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images

After an illustrious career with Chelsea, among other clubs, and the England national team, defender Wayne Bridge has announced his retirement from football after battling with injuries.

From Pa Sport, via Eurosport:

Former England and Chelsea defender Wayne Bridge has been forced to retire after admitting defeat in his battle with knee injury.

The former England full-back, who joined Reading from Manchester City last summer, went under the knife last year to try and cure the problem but has only managed 12 appearances for the Royals.

During his career he collected Premier League, FA Cup and League Cup winners' medals with Chelsea. He was also a key part of the Southampton side that made it to the FA Cup final in 2003.

On Tuesday, Reading responded to Bridge's retirement on Twitter, along with reacting to the impending departures of Jobi McAnuff, Mikele Leigertwood, Kaspars Gorkss and Stuart Taylor:

It was undoubtedly a frustrating year for Bridge, who was named to the Football League Championship Team of the Year last season with Brighton after making 42 starts before signed with Reading this summer. But he couldn't shake an injury this year, unfortunately. 

In his career, Bridge has played for Southampton, Chelsea, Manchester City, West Ham, Sunderland, Fulham, Brighton and briefly with Reading this year. He also made 36 appearances with the English national team. 

Despite being an excellent player in his time, Bridge is perhaps most famously remembered for not shaking John Terry's hand in a 2010 match between Chelsea and Manchester City. Reports at the time had surfaced that Terry had an affair with Vanessa Perroncel immediately after she and Bridge split. 

The England manager at the time, Fabio Capello, stripped Terry of his England captaincy, while Bridge refused to play for the country in the 2010 World Cup.

It remains to be seen how many years of quality football Bridge would have had in the tank were it not for this injury, though given his performance last year, he probably had a few more quality seasons in the tank. 

It will be interesting to see now if Bridge will remain in the game in some facet, or if he will move on from football altogether. His many years in the game brought him many highs and many lows, that much is for certain.