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Ex-Hammer announces retirement

Jermain Defoe has announced his retirement from professional football at the age of 39.

The ex-West Ham striker has confirmed that he is hanging up his boots after a long and storied career.

Defoe came through the ranks at the Hammers and made his first-team debut in 1999, going on to make 104 appearances for the club, scoring 40 goals.

He went on to join Spurs in 2004, in his first of three spells with the north London club, and also played for Bournemouth, Portsmouth, Toronto FC, Sunderland and Rangers throughout a career that saw him score goals in a number of leagues and at a number of levels.

Defoe also won 57 caps for England, scoring 20 goals, and is one of a select number of players to score over 150 Premier League goals; he netted 163 in 496 games.

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Defoe is the ninth top scorer in Premier League history as a result; only Alan Shearer, Wayne Rooney, Andy Cole, Sergio Aguero, Harry Kane, Frank Lampard, Thierry Henry and Robbie Fowler have scored more.

Defoe announced his retirement on Twitter, with a lengthy statement in which he thanked the fans of every club he played for.

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About Dave Langton

A journalist with 10 years' experience of working on National newspapers, now chief reporter covering the club that I've loved since I was a boy. Upton Park remains the greatest football stadium ever built.