Jobi McAnuff Retires From Playing: A Look Back At A Wonderful Career

access_time 2 months ago

Jobi McAnuff has confirmed his retirement as a footballer, calling time on his 20 year professional career as a player.

 

Throughout his career, McAnuff amassed 757 career club appearances scoring 78 times, as well as 32 international appearances for Jamaica, scoring once.

McAnuff was captain for two vital promotion campaigns in his career, firstly for Reading to the Premier League back in 11/12, and of course Leyton Orient’s return to the Football League in 18/19.

It all began at Wimbledon, where he progressed through the academy to reach the first team as a winger, playing 88 times before making a switch to West Ham United.

After finding playing time limited with the Hammers, a move to Cardiff City came next, before returning to London to join Crystal Palace.

He made 82 appearances with the Eagles, missing out on promotion in the Championship playoff semi-finals, before switching to Watford, where they would suffer the same fate.

It seemed that may have been a recurring theme, as a switch to Reading saw a playoff defeat – but after being given the captain’s armband by Brian McDermott, things were about to change.

McAnuff captained the Reading side to a Championship title, earning the chance to play in the Premier League for the first time.

He made 208 total appearances for Reading, playing every game in their 12/13 Premier League campaign, before leaving as a legend at the end of the 13/14 season.

During his time at Reading, McAnuff made a return to international football with Jamaica.

Throughout his 32 caps, McAnuff was part of the team that reached the 2015 Gold Cup final, and played at the 2015 Copa America against the likes of Uruguay and Argentina – Jamaica’s only appearance in the competition.

Following his time at Reading, McAnuff moved to Leyton Orient for his first spell, where after much documented behind-the-scenes troubles, he moved onto Stevenage, focussing on enjoying his football again.

After one year with Stevenage, he returned to E10 under new ownership, and became a vital part in The O’s return to the Football League.

Under the stewardship of Justin Edinburgh, with McAnuff his captain, Orient were promoted from the National League in a nail-biting season.

McAnuff became the first club captain to win a league title in almost 50 years, and joined an exclusive club of just four in the club’s history.

Following an injury hit 2019/20 season, McAnuff returned to the pitch, and played an active role throughout this season, before stepping into the Interim Manager role in February.

“I’ve had in my head for a little while now that this would be my last season playing,” said McAnuff.

“I’m very fortunate from a playing perspective that I got the chance to have a last game, as football isn’t always a fairy-tale.”

“It may not have ended with a win, but I’m grateful, I’ve had my fair share of opportunities, and I’m proud of what I’ve achieved on the pitch.”

We sat down with McAnuff to talk in-depth about his career, the highs and lows, and the lessons that football has taught him.

To watch this over on our YouTube channel, click here.

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