Announcing his retirement from professional football after a 15-year playing career, popular former Spireites player Drew Talbot has today released the following statement:
It is with a heavy heart that today confirms my retirement from professional football. Unfortunately, after spending the summer trying desperately to overcome the knee problem that ended my season early, it wasn’t to be and I have had to think of the bigger picture, considering my quality of life for the future going forward.
This is not a decision that has been easy to accept, quite the opposite. I consider myself extremely fortunate, however, to have had the opportunity to live out my boyhood dream of playing professional football for 14 seasons.
Throughout those years, I have been privileged enough to have represented six wonderful clubs - Sheffield Wednesday, Scunthorpe United, Luton Town, Chesterfield, Plymouth Argyle and Portsmouth - where I have enjoyed many successes and created memories I will cherish for a lifetime!
As I reflect on my career, I would like to place on record my thanks for the support I have received from clubs, managers, backroom staff, colleagues, friends, family and fans from all over the country.
To the clubs and managers I have represented: Thank you for welcoming me into your community - allowing me to do what I love, week in, week out, feeling trusted and supported during the good and the bad.
To the players I have had the privilege of playing alongside: It has been a pleasure to share a dressing room with you all. I have made some lifelong friends.
A massive thank you to my family, whose unwavering support over the years has allowed me to fulfil my boyhood dream of being a professional footballer, whilst keeping me grounded and humble.
And finally, to the mighty Spireites, my football family, the place that feels like home: It has been a complete pleasure to have given over nine years of service to this wonderful club. Over the years, together, we have experienced our fair share of low times. These have, however, been outweighed by the most incredible highs. There has never been a day where I haven’t felt welcomed, supported or valued and for that I am truly grateful!
I believe I played some of my best football in a Chesterfield shirt and to accrue over 300 appearances, while captaining such a historic club, is an honour that I cannot put into words. This is a special club, a club with a special place in my heart, a club my children now support!
From the playing staff - to the staff behind the scenes that are around the club on a daily basis - you are awesome! I know it is an old cliche but I have truly made friends for life and I cannot thank each and every one of you individually for the help, guidance and kindness you have given me. It was never unnoticed or taken for granted.
Finally, to the Spireites fans: Your support - whether it be at home or away - has always been second to none. From the Wembley trips, to Cheltenham away on a freezing cold Tuesday night, you were there. During our unbeaten runs, sitting pretty at the top of League Two, to our painstaking losing streak at the bottom, you were there. Without you guys, we couldn’t do what we do and your support means the world!
It’s going to be strange not doing what I love, day in, day out, but I will now be able to see the game in a totally different light, as a fan, with my children and experience the emotions you fans have felt over the years.
Thanks for everything,