Tranmere Rovers striker James Vaughan has today announced his retirement from professional football.
Birmingham born Vaughan started his career at Everton and he holds the record for the youngest scorer in Premier League History at age 16. He was spotted by Everton’s talent scouts at nine years of age while playing in his primary school’s football team and joined the club’s academy.
Since then, the striker has gone on to enjoy a career throughout the football league for teams such as Huddersfield Town, Bury, Sunderland and Wigan Athletic amongst others. He made over 400 appearances across a 16 year career, netting over 100 goals.
Vaughan joined Rovers initially on loan in January 2020 and then permanently in the summer of 2020. Becoming an instant fans favourite for his work rate and tenacity, James scored 22 goals last season in all competitions.
Following the decision to retire, Vaughan said: “I think you get to a point when mentally and physically you know it’s time. I’ve been thinking about it for a few months now and after the recent injuries, it just feels like now is the right time to move onto the next chapter of my life.
“It was a really difficult decision to make. Coming to Tranmere was perfect for me at this stage of my career and I’ve loved every minute of it.
“The Club, the fans and everyone around the place has treated me incredibly. The hardest part about retiring was knowing I wouldn’t be playing for Tranmere next season.
“Tranmere are a Club that has become very close to my heart. It’s an honour to have ended my career here and I will always look out for Tranmere going forward. The Club is in a really good place under the Chairman and I’m sure it will get back to where it belongs.”
In a statement on Twitter he added, “After a lot of thought I have made the decision to retire.
“The past 16 years have been full of emotions. There were many highs and lows, but mainly highs. As a six-year-old joining Everton, playing football was all I ever wanted to do and I was fortunate enough to live out my dreams.
“I owe Everton everything for believing in me and giving me an opportunity.
“I want to thank all the players, managers and staff I have worked with along the way. I’ve made some truly great friends who will be in my life forever.
“The fans have supported me throughout my career and I’m sad that the pandemic has made it impossible to say goodbye properly. You make the game special and it was always an honour to play in front of you.
“Finally, thank you to my family. You have been with me every step of the way and supported me through all the good and bad moments that come with being a professional footballer. You gave me strength in the tough times and kept me grounded during the good. I love and thank you.
“I’m now looking forward to the next stage of my life and passing on some of my experience and knowledge to the next generation of footballers in this great sport.2