MANILA, Philippines — The Ceres-Negros FC and the Philippines Azkals mainstay player has announced his retirement from professional football, months after his brother Phil bid farewell to the national team.
“Time to say goodbye. Thank you for the amazing memories. I have loved playing this game,” James wrote on his facebook account, on Thursday, June 25.
Older Younghusband ended his professional football career with 101 caps and 12 international goals for the Philippine Azkals at the age of 33.
In 2005, James made his national team debut as part of the Philippine men’s under-23 squad and played in the country’s last hosting of the Southeast Asian Games.
The Fil-British midfielder played an integral part in the resurgence of Philippine football in the “Miracle of Hanoi” when the Philippines barged into the 2010 AFF Suzuki Cup semifinals after blanking defending champion Vietnam, 2-0, in front of their home crowd, as reported by Rappler.
James started out as a youth player with English Premier League giants Chelsea. The football star then moved to the Philippines in 2009 where he and his brother, Phil Younghusband, signed with local club Loyal Meralco, according to ESPN.
Former teammates and coaches throughout Younghusband’s career paid tribute on social media.
“Despite the fame and notoriety, you have always stayed humble and grounded. No easy feat. Congrats on a history changing career and scorer of the most underrated yet most important goal in Azkals history.”Simon McMenemy, FORMER AZKALS COACH