Chris Gunter, the Wales defender, has announced his retirement from international football at the age of 33. Gunter, who plays for AFC Wimbledon as a right-back, was a key player in the Wales men’s squad during their most successful period. He made history by becoming the first male Welsh player to reach 100 appearances for his country, ultimately earning a total of 109 caps.
Gunter joins former Wales teammates Gareth Bale and Joe Allen in retiring from international football after last year’s World Cup. In a statement issued by the Football Association of Wales, Gunter expressed his gratitude for the privilege of representing his country for 15 years, saying it had given him some of the best times of his career and life.
The Newport-born player began his career at Cardiff City before moving to Tottenham Hotspur in 2008, then played for Nottingham Forest before spending eight years at Reading. He joined Charlton Athletic in 2020 and moved to Wimbledon last summer.
Gunter became a fan favourite as he helped the Welsh national team qualify for Euro 2016, where they reached the semi-finals, as well as Euro 2020 and last year’s World Cup. He thanked his former managers and staff for their support and paid tribute to the friendships he formed with his teammates.
Reflecting on his career, Gunter said “I’ve had the privilege of representing our great country for 15 years, and it’s given me some of the best times of my career and my life,” Gunter said in a statement issued by the Football Association of Wales.
“To all of the managers I’ve played under, and all of the staff who have helped me in many different ways, I have so much appreciation for you and need to say a huge thank you.
“I’ve always said when you can share moments with not just team-mates but friends it’s even more special, and I’ve been so lucky to share the dressing room with people who are real mates for life.”
Newport-born Gunter came through the ranks at Cardiff City before moving to Tottenham Hotspur in 2008.
He then played for Nottingham Forest before spending eight years at Reading. He moved to Charlton Athletic in 2020 and joined Wimbledon last summer.
Having won a first Wales cap as a teenager in 2007, he became a huge favourite with supporters as he helped the national team qualify for Euro 2016 – where they famously reached the semi-finals – Euro 2020 and last year’s World Cup.
“From a young kid growing up in Wales the dream was to always play and wear that red shirt,” Gunter added.
“What not even I dreamed of was the memories and experiences it has given me and my family, which has been made possible by you lot, the fans.
“I’ve tried to tell you many times how much you’ve helped, although it’s hard to find the words to articulate.
“So I’ll just say the biggest thank you, and see you soon.
“We’re in a great place with this staff and squad, with loads to look forward to.”