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Former Medway schoolboy Ryan Bertrand announces his retirement from football | Defender lifted the Champions League with Chelsea and won 19 England caps

Medway’s Champions League winner has announced his retirement from football, aged 34.

Ryan Bertrand, a former pupil at The Robert Napier School in Gillingham, made the announcement on live TV.

Ryan Bertrand, pictured during a loan spell at Norwich, has announced his retirement. Picture: Andy Darnell
Ryan Bertrand, pictured during a loan spell at Norwich, has announced his retirement. Picture: Andy Darnell

The defender, who started his career in the Gills youth team, shot to prominence when he was handed a shock start in Chelsea’s 2012 Champions League victory over Bayern Munich.

Playing out of position on the left wing, he made his European debut as the Blues upset Bayern 4-3 on penalties after a 1-1 draw at the Allianz Arena.

Bertrand, who won 19 England caps, made 262 Premier League appearances for Chelsea, Aston Villa, Southampton and Leicester.

He left the Foxes last summer following their relegation to the Championship and hadn’t played since.

“I’ll be retiring from football,” Bertrand told Sky Sports News.

“It’s been a little while but I get asked a lot of questions, when are you coming back or what are you doing?

“So, just to make that official that I’m retiring and very much looking forward to the next steps.

“From a young boy wanting to be a footballer to go on to achieve what I managed to achieve was unbelievable and I’m forever grateful when I look back.”

Asked about his career highlights, Bertrand added: “Playing for England, I think lining up for your country is the most amazing thing.

“That really is a moment that takes you back but on par with the Champions League result with Chelsea.

“I think that’s very, very prominent.”

Bertrand left Gillingham for Chelsea in 2005 for a reported £125,000.

While with the Blues, he went out on loan to Bournemouth, Oldham, Norwich, Reading, Nottingham Forest, Aston Villa and Southampton.

He made a permanent move to the Saints in 2015, spending six seasons at St Mary’s before an injury-hit two-year stint with Leicester.

Bertrand made his England debut in a 2-1 friendly win over Italy in 2012.

He was part of Roy Hodgson’s squad for the 2016 European Championships, playing in a goalless draw with Slovakia, and also represented Great Britain at the 2012 Olympics.

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