Experienced defender hangs up his boots...JAMES Chambers has announced his decision to retire from professional football following a career which has spanned 16 years and over 400 senior games.
“It’s a decision that I have thought long and hard about,” said the likeable 34 year-old who came through the youth ranks at West Bromwich Albion before serving Watford, Cardiff City (on loan), Leicester City, Doncaster Rovers and Hereford United (on loan). “I’ve taken advice from various people as well as family and friends and I have decided that the time is right for me to have a change of direction.
“I have business interests away from football, particularly my new venture, My Farewell, and it is time for me to pursue those. I simply couldn’t do both; it wouldn’t have been fair on the club or myself for me to remain here and not give it my full attention.
“I have been fortunate to have enjoyed a long career in the game where I have played alongside and against some fantastic players and been involved in some big games.
“I gained promotion into the Premier League twice with West Bromwich Albion, once with Watford and have also played in some memorable Cup games, including that Wembley appearance for Walsall in March.
“I’ve got some great memories to look back upon and leave Walsall having had a fantastic time over the past three years.
“I joined the club on the back of two knee operations, but went on to start enjoying my football again. It’s been an honour and a pleasure to turn out for the club alongside my brother and play under Dean Smith and Richard O’Kelly, two people who I have known for many years and have the utmost respect for.
“There are some great people involved here and I intend to come back and see them over the course of the season.
“That said, I’m sure I’ll get daily updates on what’s going on at the club from my brother and friends!
“When you move on from something you’ve been doing for a long time, it’s only natural that there will be a tear in my eye, but I am looking forward to what the future holds in store.
“One of things I have most enjoyed over the years is the interaction with the fans and I must say that the Walsall supporters in particular have been first-class. I thank everyone who has supported me over the years, it really does mean a lot.
“I would like to think that I will be remembered as hard-working, energetic and a team player.”
We thank James for his outstanding service to the club and wish him well in the future.