• Football

Bentley retires after falling out of love with the game

ESPN staff
June 13, 2014
David Bentley left Tottenham last summer © PA Photos

David Bentley has announced his retirement at the age of just 29 after admitting he fell out of love with football.

Bentley, who had joined Tottenham for an initial £15 million in 2008, has been without a club since leaving White Hart Lane last summer.

The former England winger, who also played for Arsenal, Norwich and Blackburn, claimed he did not want to play on purely for financial reasons.

"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," he told Sky Sports News.

Bentley came through the youth system at Arsenal and, partly because of his initials, was compared to Dennis Bergkamp and David Beckham as a young player.

He only made nine appearances for Arsenal and spent a season on loan at Norwich before flourishing at Blackburn.

His three seasons at Ewood Park brought 20 goals in 132 games, including a hat-trick against Manchester United, and the first of his seven England caps.

But he struggled after signing for Tottenham and only made 62 appearances in five years at White Hart Lane, going out on loan to Birmingham, West Ham, FC Rostov and Blackburn.

"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," Bentley said.

"The game's changed a lot. It's different. When I first started it was enjoyment. Now it's a little bit robotic, the social media side of things... it's made it boring.

"It made it calculated. To sign another three or four years into that... it's not really an option for me. It's gone a little bit sour for me. Life's full of ifs and buts, but I'm happy with the way my career went. There were some highs and some lows."

On his future plans, he added: "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.

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

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