David Bentley announces retirement from football

Despite being just 29 years of age, the former Arsenal, Tottenham and England winger has called time on his playing career after being without a club for over a year
Former Arsenal, Tottenham and England winger David Bentley has retired from football at the age of 29.

The midfielder failed to find a club after being released by Spurs at the end of last season - a team whom he joined for £15 million in 2008 before making just 42 outings and being sent out on multiple loans.

Bentley has represented England from Under-15s level upwards, earning seven senior appearances as he was touted as a long-term successor to David Beckham, but will now concentrate on ventures outside the sport.

"I've given up football. It's over a year since I played my last game and I've taken the decision to take my life in a different direction. I felt like it was time to call it a day," he told Sky Sports News.

"I've just had little baby twins, three months old, and I've got a little four-year-old and I want to focus on that. My love for the game went a little bit and I didn't want to carry on just for the fact of paying me money. It's not really ever been an option for me to do that.

"I'm involved in a restaurant in Spain and we're bringing it to the UK so there is a lot of work there.

"I enjoyed every minute of it and had a smile on my face every day but I don't want to carry on playing somewhere just for money, taking my family to a place we really don't want to be. Life's too short to do that.

"I've just fallen out of love with the game. I had a bit of a difficult time at Tottenham and it's just one of them things. It's probably a little bit early but it's where I am at now.

"It's a positive decision in my life and I am only viewing it as positive. I'm happy.

"I have no regrets. I loved every minute of playing but the game has changed. When I first started it was the enjoyment, going in to work every day was brilliant.

"Now it's a little bit robotic, the social media side of it, the money that has come into the game. I hate to say it but it's made it boring and predictable - calculated - and to go and sign another three or four years into that wasn't really an option for me."

Bentley made his name at Blackburn, joining the club permanently in 2006 after impressing on loan, and played his last professional game for Rovers last term after returning on loan.