'Immense pride' - Former City winger decides to retire

Matt Jarvis of Norwich celebrates scoring his sides 3rd goal during the Barclays Premier League matc

Matt Jarvis scored on his Norwich City debut before injuries ruined his Canaries career - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Former Norwich City winger Matt Jarvis has decided it's time to hang up his boots and spoken of the 'immense pride' he feels as his career comes to an end.

The 35-year-old had been playing in the National League this season for Woking, scoring once in 21 matches, but isn't planning to continue playing next season.

"After 18 years as a professional footballer, I feel it's the right time for me to retire from the game that I love," Jarvis wrote in a social media post.

"After about 450 appearances and 47 goals for six amazing clubs, including Gillingham, Wolves, West Ham, Norwich, Walsall and Woking, and the greatest honour of representing my country England.  

"It was never going to be an easy decision and I will miss everything about it: the training, the banter, the competitive desire to win but most of all the atmosphere on a match day from start to finish.

"The fans cheering and that winning feeling after a game which everyone can enjoy, from players, to staff, to fans. 

"As a kid, I could never have envisaged being able to say I would have played in the Premier League for eight years, gained promotion as champions from the Championship and enjoyed numerous seasons in the Championship and League One - also fulfilling a boyhood dream of representing my country, which was a huge honour.

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"I would like to thank all the coaches, back-room staff and managers from youth team level all the way through to my last club Woking.

"They have instilled the belief and tactical nous I have needed to guide me through the leagues and onto the pinnacle of England.

"The players I have played with throughout my career have moulded me and made this whole journey the best in the world. I have some amazing friends for life!

"I have represented many fantastic clubs who I can't even put into words how much I have enjoyed wearing the badges with immense pride and trying my best to bring points and edge-of-your-seat performances.

"I'd also like to thank and pay tribute to my family and my close friends. My mum and dad for their sacrifices, their encouragement and their advice throughout my career.

"My brother Ben for always being the supportive big brother and a special mention to my wife Sarah, who has been my rock through many highs and lows, always believing in me and encouraging me to achieve my dreams.

"Finally I'd like to thank all the fans from all the clubs. You make the game we all love and have given me the biggest privilege in being able to perform and hopefully entertain you to the best of my ability. I will miss each and every one of you."  

After being released by Millwall as a youngster, Jarvis impressed with Gillingham to earn a move to Wolves in 2007. Winning the Championship title in 2009 saw the speedy wide man become a Premier League regular and earn an England cap in March 2011, playing the final 21 minutes of a 1-1 friendly draw with Ghana at Wembley.

A move to West Ham followed in 2012 and Jarvis remained a top-flight regular before a hamstring injury hampered the start of 2014-15 and he struggled to reclaim a starting role.

He joined Norwich on loan at the start of 2015-16 after Alex Neil had led the Canaries to play-off promotion and a debut goal, during a 3-1 home win over Bournemouth in the Premier League, began a promising spell.

Jarvis was signed for a reported £2.5million after seven appearances despite a knee injury and did return as a regular during the second half of that relegation campaign.

A succession of injury problems would prevent Jarvis from adding to his 21 appearances for City though and after a League One loan stint at Walsall in 2019 as he chased fitness, his contract was not renewed.

He joined hometown side Woking and made his final appearance at the end of March, with the Cards' campaign drifting to a close amid players being placed on furlough, with no relegation threat to worry about despite a lowly position in the National League table.

In recent years Jarvis has been working in the media, as a pundit for outlets including BBC Radio Five Live and Sky Sports, also occasionally featuring as co-commentator on Norwich games for BBC Radio Norfolk.

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