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Arsenal icon Sol Campbell retires from football

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Sol Campbell vs. another former Arsenal man, Jermaine Pennant of Stoke.
Sol Campbell vs. another former Arsenal man, Jermaine Pennant of Stoke.

Sol Campbell, who played the better part of seven seasons at Arsenal between 2001 and 2010, has decided to retire from football, according to the official Arsenal site. Campbell had been a free agent since May of 2011 after leaving Newcastle.

Campbell had been involved in professional football since 1992, when after a youth career at both West Ham and Tottenham Hotspur, he moved up to the senior side for Spurs and put in 255 appearances there. He decided he needed Champions League action, though, and so he moved (without any controversy whatsoever) to Spurs' fiercest rivals Arsenal in 2001, where he promptly anchored a back line first with Tony Adams and then with Martin Keown, winning a cup double his first year, holding the line for the Invincibles, and winning a couple more FA Cups. He also scored the opener for ten-man Arsenal in the 2006 Champions League final against FC Barcelona, but the Gunners unfortunately could not hold out for 70 more minutes to win that prize.

In 2010, Campbell, who had left Arsenal for Portsmouth (where he won another FA Cup), returned to the team after training with them for the better part of the autumn. He added some much-needed experience to a depleted defensive unit, filling in for Thomas Vermaelen and William Gallas, and even scoring against FC Porto in the Champions League round of 16. Playing that season for Arsenal meant that he had played in every single season of football since Sky invented the sport.

For me, personally, my fondest memory of Sol Campbell will forever live in text, as I had to read the Champions League final happening while I was at work. However, I definitely maybe yelped a bit and thrust my arms into the air when I read that he had scored.

He was a rock, though.

Everyone here would like to wish Mr. Campbell the best of luck for whatever he decides to do next.