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Birchall’s retirement letter to Trinidad and Tobago

I am writing to inform the TTFA of my immediate retirement from international football for Trinidad and Tobago.

I have thought long and hard about my decision and although it is a very difficult decision for me to make, I believe it’s the correct one.

I would like to concentrate on my club football with Port Vale FC and give my best for the years I have left with them.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank many people that have made my international career possible and colourful throughout.

Photo: Chris Birchall (far left and stooping) and the Trinidad and Tobago national football team poses before kick off against England at the 2006 World Cup. (Courtesy 90soccer.com)
Photo: Chris Birchall (far left and stooping) and the Trinidad and Tobago national football team poses before kick off against England at the 2006 World Cup.
(Courtesy 90soccer.com)

Mr Jack Warner made it all possible for me and I will always be eternally thankful to him for introducing me to the start of my journey with the team. He made me and my family very welcome to the country and gave my mother a chance to come home to Trinidad.

Mr Mike Berry, whom worked with Mr Warner, made my early years with the team exciting and was always there to communicate with to make my transition very easy.

I would like to take time to thank all the coaches I’ve worked under with the national team: Mr Leo Beenhakker, Mr Wim Rijsbergen, Mr Franscico Maturana, Mr Russell Latapy, Mr Hutson Charles and Mr Jamaal Shabazz and Mr Stephen Hart.

A special mention has to go to Mr Beenhakker. He was the first coach I worked under and had a special relationship with; he knew what he wanted to do with the “Soca Warriors” and personally what he wanted from me to help the team create history and qualify for our first ever World Cup. Without him, it would never have been possible and subsequently it produced the best memories of all of our lifetimes.

To all of the players I’ve played with, they have all been an honour to play alongside and all brought their own strengths to represent the nation.

The 2006 squad was an exceptional one and was led by Dwight Yorke. As the captain, I’d like to thank him for being a friend off the pitch and welcoming me with open arms to the team and, on the pitch, being a Warrior and a pleasure to play in the middle of the park with.

Photo: The "Soca Warriors" bond during the 2006 World Cup.
Photo: The “Soca Warriors” bond during the 2006 World Cup.

Players like Kelvin Jack, Shaka Hislop, Clayton Ince, Leslie “Tiger” Fitzpatrick, David Nakhid, Stern John, Russell Latapy, Brent Sancho, Avery John, Dennis Lawrence, Marvin Andrews, Carlos Edwards, Densill Theobald and Kenwyne Jones have all become friends and I’d like to thank them all.

Mr Peter Rampersad has been there every step of the way as the team manager and has done an amazing job and hopefully will continue to do so.

Last, I would like to thank the most important people of all, the fans and the general public of Trinidad and Tobago.

Never did I think I would be accepted in the manner of which I did, the support I have received over the years has been phenomenal and I think it was made easier due to my fighting spirit and hard attitude on the pitch.

It is hard to call it a day but if I have left just one historic memory with the fans then I have achieved much more than I ever dreamed imaginable with the team.

Photo: Chris Birchall (left) tries to get a shot past Sweden midfielder Tobias Linderoth during the 2006 World Cup finals. Sweden and Trinidad and Tobago played to a goalless draw in Dortmund.
Photo: Chris Birchall (left) tries to get a shot past Sweden midfielder Tobias Linderoth during the 2006 World Cup finals.
Sweden and Trinidad and Tobago played to a goalless draw in Dortmund.

I have always tried to give 100% on the pitch and give my all for the nation whenever called upon and wear the shirt with pride as I knew how many people would die for my opportunity.

So, with pride, I announce my international retirement and look forward to seeing future Soca Warriors represent the country under the special guidance of our coaches and TTFA president Mr Raymond Tim Kee.

 

Editor’s Note: Click here for Wired868 report on Chris Birchall’s retirement.

About Lasana Liburd

Lasana Liburd
Lasana Liburd is the CEO and Editor at Wired868.com and a journalist with over 20 years experience at several Trinidad and Tobago and international publications including Play the Game, World Soccer, UK Guardian and the Trinidad Express.

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2 comments

  1. He gave 100% to Trinidad & Tobago…plus, unlike the majority of English players, he participated in a world cup……you have to respect that !!!