Karl Henry insists he had the ‘time of my life’ captaining Wolves after retiring from football at the age of 36.
The news was announced by Wolves’ official Twitter feed just hours after the former Molineux captain made his debut for Wolves All Stars in a charity game at Darlaston FC on Sunday. In a professional career that started in 1999 and spanned just under 20 years, the Wolverhampton-born midfielder played 528 League games, scoring 11 goals, with 574 appearances in total, for Stoke City, Cheltenham on loan, Wolves, QPR, Bolton and Bradford City.
Ironically, Henry played his first and last games as a pro in 4-0 home wins over Walsall. He made his debut on February 7, 2001 for Stoke against the Saddlers in the Football League Trophy, and made his final appearance for Bradford, also against Walsall, in a League One game on December 15, 2018.
But his most memorable spell of his career came for his hometown club, where he made 272 appearances, including 250 in the League, after arriving initially on trial prior to a £100,000 move in July 2006. Henry captained Wolves to the Championship title in 2008-09, making 43 appearances. During that successful campaign he forged an excellent partnership in central midfield with David Jones. He went on to skipper Wolves in the first two of the three consecutive seasons in the Premier League, before relegation and a move to QPR in the summer of 2013.
Henry’s number of games puts him in the top 40 in Wolves’ all-time list of appearance makers. He will be remembered for his leadership, all-out commitment, incisive tackling and a superb, last-gasp winner at Charlton in March 2008! Henry’s form in gold and black at the time saw him named in the 40-man England provisional squad on February 20, 2011, for a game against Denmark, but did not make the final cut of 26. He had earlier been capped by England at Under-18 and Under-20 level while at Stoke.
Wolves tweeted: “All the very best to @karlhenry08 who has announced his retirement from professional football. The promotion-winning skipper made over 250 appearances for Wolves during his seven-year spell at Molineux and helped to create some fantastic memories.” Henry tweeted: “Thank you @Wolves!!! Had the time of my life playing for my hometown club. Captain. Premier League. It’s what dreams are made of.”
Henry has been working for WWFC Foundation for several months, helping those less fortunate and will continue that following his retirement from playing. The organisation tweeted: “All the best to our ambassador, @karlhenry08, who has announced his retirement from professional football today! We look forward to your continued support.” Henry replied: “Thank you! Really looking forward to helping with the amazing work you’re already doing.”
Henry also received appreciation from QPR, the club he joined Wolves from for £1m. He spent four years at Loftus Road and played 118 times, helping them to promotion to the Premier League via the play-offs in his first season, 2013-14, after coming on as substitute in a 1-0 win against Derby at Wembley. The club tweeted: “Happy retirement, @karlhenry08!” He replied: “Thank you @QPR!! I loved every minute of my four years in West-London. Hope to see you back in the Premier League, where you belong, soon.”