Jack Collison admits that his decision to retire was one which had been coming for a long time.
The 27-year-old announced that he was quitting football earlier this week after being dogged by persistent knee injury problems in recent seasons..
The former Welsh international missed the entirety of the 2014-15 season, failing to play a single match for Ipswich Town after joining from the Hammers in September 2014 before moving on to Peterborough United.
He has now decided that the time has come to hang up his boots and he admitted to BT Sport that he had been kidding himself about his injuries for some time.
He said of his decision: "To be honest it's been coming for a little while but I think this season it's finally come to a head and the time was right.
"It was a bit of everything really. I was kind of lying to myself, I had people running rings around me in training. I'd play games and it would take me four or five days to recover, sat on an ice machine 24/7.
"It wasn't a lot of fun and I was getting down and I think the time had come to just look to the future."
Before leaving Upton Park, Collison played 121 times for West Ham over seven seasons as a professional with the club.
His knee troubles can be traced back to his time at the Irons, where he suffered cartilage damage and a dislocated kneecap in 2009, an injury which caused several niggling issues through the rest of his career.