Sheffield United defender Jack O’Connell has finally shared the news most Blades fans feared, in that he is retiring from professional football.

O’Connell has been missing since 2020 with knee issues and despite attempts to fight back to fitness, has decided now is the time to hang up his boots.

O’Connell was signed by Chris Wilder and played a crucial role in getting United into the Championship and then Premier League. Starring as an overlapping left centre-back, O’Connell epitomised Chris Wilder’s team at the time was a huge fan favourite.

But taking to Instagram this afternoon, O’Connell has announced the heartbreaking decision to retire.

Jack O’Connell – Sheffield United legend

Despite most Blades fans assuming we might have seen the last of O’Connell, it stings to hear him officially announce his news.

Of course, the real loser in all this is O’Connell himself. Before being injured, he was knocking on the door of the England squad and would very much have been considered had he steered clear of injury.

O’Connell’s statement clearly comes from the heart and it will be interesting to see if United do offer him some sort of role behind the scenes in the coming weeks and months.

Sheffield United v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Premier League
Photo by Visionhaus

Certainly, on the field, Jack O’Connell will go down as a legend of The Lane. Not many players can say that, but he truly is.

Part of so many magical moments in red and white, O’Connell can leave the game with his held high and knowing he truly did do everything to get back to being involved.

As he says, he has ventures planned beyond football and we wish him all the best with those.

All that’s left to say, really, is…….’OOOOOOHHHH JACK O’CONNELL’S MAGIC……’

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