• Thu. Apr 18th, 2024

Lionel Messi wanted Theo Walcott’s shirt, Thierry Henry left him a notice at Arsenal and Tottenham enthusiasts lobbed £16.32 at him


Aug 17, 2023
Lionel Messi wanted Theo Walcott's shirt, Thierry Henry left him a note at Arsenal and Tottenham fans lobbed £16.32 at him


It feels like yesterday when a 17-calendar year-previous Theo Walcott became England’s youngest-at any time participant.

That report nevertheless stands to this working day, even however a 34-12 months-aged Walcott has doubled in age and seems to be established to retire from soccer.

Remember this kid? He's about to retire from football


Recall this child? He is about to retire from footballCredit score: AFP

talkSPORT instructed you on Thursday that the former Arsenal and Southampton star has designed the decision to cling up his boots.

In reality, Walcott’s occupation experienced been winding down considering the fact that his Emirates exit in 2018, just before underwhelming spells at Everton and Southampton.

But during his Gunners times, Walcott made some amazing reminiscences.

Soon after all, they do not just hand out the selection 14 shirt to any one in north London.

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In 2021, Walcott joined talkSPORT for an extended episode of Up Entrance With, and seemed again on his early times at Arsenal.

He claimed: “Chelsea came in, so did Liverpool and Arsenal. It was one factor that my idol was there – Thierry Henry. Plus Arsene Wenger gave so many alternatives to youthful players.

“I just thought I could not say no to them and I wouldn’t change it for the globe. It was one particular of the ideal choices I at any time manufactured.

“As before long as I walked in, the very first man or woman I observed was Henry. I thought, ‘Bloody hell!’ I looked so starstruck. Then Robert Pires comes in, then Freddie Ljungberg, Sol Campbell, Ashley Cole. I was like a kid with his autograph ebook.

Henry returned to Arsenal for a brief spell and let Walcott keep the number 14 shirt


Henry returned to Arsenal for a short spell and enable Walcott preserve the variety 14 shirtCredit: Getty Visuals – Getty

“I’ve in no way adjusted from that minimal kid up to now.”

Walcott discovered iconic striker Henry still left him a observe when the legendary selection 14 shirt was vacated.

“I originally desired quantity 8 but it was the season they signed Samir Nasri, so they informed me I could not have it,” Walcott added.

“So I just stated I’ll take range 14. I’m not superstitious and I did not truly feel of the relevance. Then abruptly I believed, ‘S***, I’ve taken Thierry’s number’.

“I obtained a shirt signed from Henry and it mentioned, ‘Do range 14, from range 14’.

“He signed it off, and if it was good plenty of for him, it was excellent adequate for me.”

In his key, Walcott confirmed why Sven- Goran Eriksson took him to a World Cup when he was just a child.

Even Lionel Messi, arguably the best player ever, was inquiring for his shirt and publicly expressing admiration for him.

Messi was a public fan of Walcott's, calling him 'dangerous' and questioning why he didn't go to the 2010 World Cup


Messi was a general public supporter of Walcott’s, contacting him ‘dangerous’ and questioning why he failed to go to the 2010 Globe CupCredit rating: Getty Pictures – Getty

“When he [Messi] experienced the ball and he wished to encounter up with me, he would flip and go the other way,” Walcott recalled.

“I thought, ‘OK, Messi does not want to attempt and operate past me, that is a good sign’.

“We performed Barcelona very a great deal and Messi questioned for my shirt. I assumed, ‘Wow, the best player in the environment is asking for my shirt!’ I’ve received no terms for that.”

Walcott scored extra than 100 aims for Arsenal but a doable turning place arrived in 2014 when he endured an ACL damage all through a match towards Spurs.

Acquiring presently missed the 2010 Environment Cup, Walcott was then dominated out of the 2014 event.

But his legendary smug gesture on the stretcher built it worthwhile – and that was not the only silver lining.

Walcott continued: “The knee damage was the worst since I didn’t know I did it at the time, which is why I did the 2- signal to the Tottenham enthusiasts.

“I received about £16.32 on my stretcher from all the cash they lobbed at me. That’s why I did it. I could’ve gone and acquired some sweets, it was that substantially.

Arsenal fans will remember this moment fondly - even if it backfired on Walcott a little bit


Arsenal lovers will try to remember this second fondly – even if it backfired on Walcott a very little little bitCredit score: Getty Images – Getty

“All the checks had been wonderful, I had a sharp soreness for 20 seconds and then it was high-quality. I’ll by no means forget the telephone get in touch with from the health care provider. He questioned me if I was sitting down down. I went so white and burst into tears.

“I appeared again at that and imagined it was a blessing, mainly because my son was born and I never missed it. Points happen for a reason – and that was my motive. I wouldn’t improve it.

“Now that I’ve bought kids, I appear at football in different ways. They are on my boots and I’m actively playing for them.”

Theo Walcott might not be noticed at the optimum level once more, but observe out for another opportunity Walcott in the yrs to arrive…

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When questioned about his kids, Walcott explained: “I will not pressure it on them, but I do follow with them a great deal, specially with Finley. He’s obtained a excellent kick.”

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