Former West Ham midfielder 'thanks god' he turned down Millwall

Former West Ham United midfielder Matthew Etherington has revealed he said 'thanks but no thanks' to his old club's bitter rivals Millwall before retiring.

Ex Stoke City and Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Matty Etherington was forced to retire from football before Christmas due to ongoing injury problems. But not before telling the Hammers' hated rivals he had no interest in joining them because 'it just felt wrong'.

Etherington, who had a number of good seasons at West Ham under Alan Pardew, was looking for a club after being released by Stoke City last summer.

Millwall were not put off by the 33-year-old's Upton Park connections and then manager Ian Holloway asked him to come and train with the struggling side.

Etherington, now a football pundit, admitted he went into training but soon realised things did not feel right.

Speaking to West Ham Fan TV, the former Peterborough United youngster rubbed salt in Millwall's fresh relegation wounds after their demotion to League One was confirmed on Tuesday night.

He said: "Ian Holloway text me and said 'Do you want to go down to Millwall?'.

"I've got a lot of West Ham friends and when they heard I was going down there I can't tell you the amount of stick I was getting.

"It just felt wrong going in there, even going to the training ground. It was the weirdest feeling. I went training, my back had gone and I thought 'I ain't coming back here'.

"I called Holloway and said 'thanks but no thanks' and I retired a few weeks later. It didn't feel right and it didn't happen thank god."

The Truro-born winger scored 16 goals in 165 games - including an FA Cup final - for the Hammers. But had he joined Millwall it could have tarnished his reputation among fans who still hold him in high regard.

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