Cleverley announces his retirement

Saturday 01 July 2023 15:45

Tom Cleverley has announced his retirement from football, at the age of 33.

The former United Academy graduate rose through the ranks with the Reds and made his competitive debut aged 22. He also made a total of 13 caps for England.

Spending 15 years at the club before eventually departing for Everton in 2015, the midfielder has spent the last six years with Watford following his two-year spell with the Toffees.

But having been forced to cut his professional career short due to injury, Tom posted an announcement on social media on Saturday.

''Today I am announcing my retirement from football as a player,'' the 33-year-old wrote on Instagram. ''The last year has been immensely difficult trying to overcome the obstacles of injury. Unfortunately my body has failed me and just hasn’t got the capacity to perform anymore.

''I haven’t done much reflection just yet, but I’m trying to focus on a positive future and I’m excited about what that’s going to bring. I would like to thank staff, teammates and fans at Leicester, Wigan, Aston Villa, Everton and England.''

Cleverley also candidly paid homage to those that helped him while at United, with warm praise heading towards none other than our most successful manager.

''Special mentions must go to Manchester United, especially Paul McGuiness and Sir Alex Ferguson,'' he added.

''The people and the club that gave me the foundations as a player and person and also the club that made my dreams come true.

''To come through the academy and represent the first team gives me immense pride.''

Tom Cleverley - "I felt like a failure"


Our latest UTD Podcast guest is an Academy graduate who made 79 senior appearances for the Reds. Tom Cleverley talks us through his route from Carrington to the first team, including how he learned the game during three loan spells. Discover the one player he was jealous of and the one time he felt the full force of the Sir Alex Ferguson ‘hairdryer’ treatment. The legendary manager’s departure coincided with a dip in form and confidence, and he admits to being emotionally scarred by new levels of social media criticism as platforms like Twitter took off, around the time his career should have been flourishing. However, he has performed well since leaving United and discusses representing Watford again, where he had excelled during a loan stint. There is also a desire to represent another club and also to try his hand at management, with taking charge of the Reds an ultimate dream. All in all, this is a fascinating chat with somebody who climbed every rung of the ladder in order to enjoy a successful career, including playing for England and representing Great Britain at the Olympics. Check out another unmissable episode of the UTD Podcast!

Tom made a total of 79 appearances for United and last played at Old Trafford in Watford's 0-0 draw against the Reds back in February 2022.

Everyone at United would like to wish Tom all the best for the future.

Watch more of Cleverley below: