List of retired numbers in association football


Association football clubs around the world sometimes retire squad numbers to recognise players' loyal service, most as a memorial after their death.

Background


Signed jersey worn by Diego Maradona during his tenure on Italian club Napoli, exhibited at the San Siro Museum of Milan. The number 10 he wore was retired by Napoli in 2000[1]

This practice, long established in the major North American sports, is a recent development in football since squad numbers for specific players were not widely used until the 1990s. Before then, it was typical for players in the starting lineup to be issued numbers 1 to 11 by formation/position on a match-by-match basis, and substitutes to be numbered from 12 upwards, meaning a player might wear different numbers during the season if they were to play in different positions for tactical reasons, or simply not be a regular in the starting lineup.

Nevertheless, in the American league NASL, players always wore permanent numbers since its inception in 1967.[2] Moreover, Pelé's #10 was retired by the New York Cosmos during the farewell of the Brazilian star in 1977,[3] probably becoming the first number ever retired in association football.[4]

Mexico was pioneer country in the use of permanent numbers in football, being adopted in Primera División in the 1980s.[5]

Retiring a player's number usually occurs after the player has left the team or retired. It honours a player who has meant so much to his club that they retire the shirt number that the player wore during their time there, meaning no other player is permitted to use that number in the future. In some cases, such as those of Jason Mayélé, Vittorio Mero, Marc-Vivien Foé, Miklós Fehér, Ray Jones, Dylan Tombides, François Sterchele, David di Tommaso, Antonio Puerta, Besian Idrizaj, Piermario Morosini and Davide Astori, numbers have been retired to posthumously honour a player who died while still active. Also, Norwegian club Fredrikstad retired Dagfinn Enerly's number following an on-pitch accident that left him paralysed. In Britain, only Bobby Moore's, Jack Lester's and Jude Bellingham's shirt numbers have been retired due to great service to the club as opposed to a tragic incident. Although it has not been officially retired, Gianfranco Zola's No. 25 shirt and John Terry’s No. 26 have not been reissued by Chelsea since they left the club in 2003 and 2017 respectively.

The Argentina, Ecuador and Cameroon national teams have been prevented from retiring the numbers of Diego Maradona (10), Christian Benítez (11)[6] and Marc-Vivien Foé (17), respectively, by FIFA rules dealing with squad numbers for Finals tournaments; in other competitions, qualifiers or friendlies, national associations may assign numbers according to criteria of their choosing. Similarly, several clubs have been required to reissue retired numbers for continental club competitions due to squad numbering rules of continental confederations. For example, CAF and CONMEBOL have such rules in their club competitions, but CONCACAF does not.

Some South American teams (such as Universitario de Deportes or Flamengo, and even Mexican teams invited for the occasions) have occasionally had to re-issue their retired numbers for special cases due to CONMEBOL rules, which state that shirts must be numbered 1–25 in continental club competitions (such as Copa Libertadores and Copa Sudamericana, among others).

Retired numbers


Team No. Player Position Career Notes
JS Kabylie 9 Albert Ebossé Bodjongo Forward 2013–2014 posthumous
Godoy Cruz 18 Santiago García Forward 2016–2021 posthumous[7][8][9]
Rapid Wien 5 Peter Schöttel Defender 1986–2001 His number was temporarily retired for at least 10 years. In 2013, it was reactivated and given to Thanos Petsos.
Rapid Wien 11 Steffen Hofmann Midfielder 2002–2018 Retired for at least 11 years
Red Bull Salzburg 26 Jonathan Soriano Striker 2012–2017 Club's Legend[10]
Sturm Graz 3 Günther Neukirchner Defender 1989–2006
Sturm Graz 7 Mario Haas Striker 1993–2012
SV Ried 27 Sanel Kuljic Striker 2003–2006
Club Brugge 23 François Sterchele Striker 2007–2008 posthumous[11]
OH Leuven 13 Bjorn Ruytinx Striker 2004–2014 Club's Legend
UR Namur 3 Michel Soulier Defender 1967–1977 posthumous
Avaí 88 Cléber Santana Midfielder 2012
2013–2014
posthumous[12]
Palmeiras 12 Marcos Goalkeeper 1993–2012 For goalkeepers only. Outfield players have worn the number since his retirement.
São Paulo 01 Rogério Ceni Goalkeeper 1990–2015 His double-digit number, worn from 2007, was retired on 12 December 2015 when he retired from football. The single-digit '1' may still be used, but the iconic '01', which is an inverted '10', is retired.[13]
Lokomotiv Plovdiv 8 Hristo Bonev Midfielder 1963–1967
1968–1979
1982–1984
Club Legend
Ludogorets Razgrad 84 Marcelinho Midfielder 2011–2020 Club Legend
CF Montreal 20 Mauro Biello Forward 1993–1998
2000–2009
Cobreloa 8 Fernando Cornejo Midfielder 1992–1997
2000–2004
posthumous
Beijing Enterprises 24 Cheick Tioté Midfielder 2017 posthumous
Chengdu Blades 18 Yao Xia Striker 2005–2010
Dalian Shide 26 Zhang Yalin Midfielder 2000–2009 posthumous
Dalian Transcendence 17 Wang Renlong Striker 2014 posthumous
Alajuelense 20 Mauricio Montero Defender 1985–1997
Cartaginés 11 Leonel Hernández Winger 1957–1977
Cartaginés 18 Claudio Ciccia Forward 2002–2004
2005
Anorthosis Famagusta 14 Temur Ketsbaia Midfielder 1991–1994
2002–2009
Dynamo České Budějovice 8 Karel Poborský Midfielder 1991–1994
2005–2007
AaB 12 Torben Boye Defender 1984–2002
Nordsjælland 26 Jonathan Richter Midfielder 2005–2009 Lost his leg as a result of a lightning strike
Næstved BK 7 Rasmus Green Midfielder 2005–2006 posthumous
Viborg FF 22 Søren Frederiksen Striker 1989–1994
1998
2001–2005
Accrington Stanley 29 Billy Kee Striker 2009–2010
2015–2020
Retired due to mental health issues
Birmingham City 22 Jude Bellingham Midfielder 2019–2020 Youngest-ever first-team player and goalscorer
Chesterfield 14 Jack Lester Striker 2007–2013
Exeter City 9 Adam Stansfield Forward 2006–2010 Following Stansfield's death from colorectal cancer during the 2010–11 season, the club retired his number 9 shirt for the following nine seasons.[14] From the 2020–21 season onwards, the shirt will be worn by a 'home-grown player'.[15]
Hartlepool United 25 Michael Maidens[16] Midfielder 2004–2007 posthumous
Macclesfield Town 21 Richard Butcher[17] Midfielder 2010–2011 posthumous
Manchester City 23 Marc-Vivien Foé[16] Midfielder 2002–2003 died on the pitch while playing for Cameroon, was at Manchester City on loan from Lyon at the time
Queens Park Rangers 31 Ray Jones[16] Forward 2006–2007 posthumous
Rushden & Diamonds 1 Dale Roberts[18] Goalkeeper 2008–2010 posthumous
West Ham United 6 Bobby Moore[16] Centre back 1958–1974 posthumous
West Ham United 38 Dylan Tombides[19] Striker 2010–2014 posthumous
Wycombe Wanderers 14 Mark Philo[16] Midfielder 2004–2006 posthumous
Clermont 14 Clément Pinault Defender 2008–2009 posthumous
Lens 17 Marc-Vivien Foé Midfielder 1995–1999 posthumous
Nantes 9 Emiliano Sala Striker 2015–2019 posthumous[20]
Rennes 29 Romain Danzé Right back 2006–2019 [21]
Sedan 29 David di Tommaso Centre back 2000–2004 posthumous
Wacker Burghausen 11 Marek Krejčí Striker 2004–2007 posthumous
VfL Wolfsburg 19 Junior Malanda Midfielder 2012–2015 posthumous
AEL 24 Kobe Bryant Shooting guard 1996–2016 Basketball legend, posthumous. Retired on January 27, 2020.
PAOK 17 Panagiotis Katsouris Midfielder 1996–1998 posthumous
Skoda Xanthi 13 Olubayo Adefemi Defender 2010–2011 posthumous
Skoda Xanthi 56 Steve Gohouri Defender 2013–2014 posthumous
CSD Municipal 15 Juan Carlos Plata Forward 1990–2010
Roulado 7 Jean-Robert Menelas Striker 1993–2007 Number was retired in recognition of his career at the club and for his all-time record goal scoring in the league. He is the first in the history of Haitian football to have a number permanently removed from use.[22][23]
Olimpia 11 Wilmer Velásquez Forward 1991–1995
1996–1998
1999–2001
2002–2009
Club Legend
Motagua 16 Edy Vásquez Midfielder 2003–2007 posthumous, retired from 2007–2009
Happy Valley 2 Leung Sui Wing Sweeper 1976–1997
Hong Kong Rangers 15 Cheung Yiu Lun Defender 1992–1995
1996–1999
2001–2002
posthumous
Tai Po FC 16 Mao Mengsuo Midfielder 2008–2010 posthumous
Diósgyőri VTK 77 José Juan Luque Winger 1996–2013 Number retired on 2 June 2013 in respect of Luque being the most professional player in the DVTK history. His number retired for 10 years.
Ferencváros 2 Tibor Simon Right fullback 1985–1999 posthumous
Kispest AC/Honvéd 10 Ferenc Puskás Deep-lying forward 1939–1956 retired in 2000, died 2006
Kerala Blasters 21 Sandesh Jhingan Defender 2014–2020 Club's Legend[24]
Bethlehem Vengthlang 21 Peter Biaksangzuala Midfielder –2014 posthumous, after the player died celebrating a goal.[25]
Dempo SC 10 Christiano Junior Striker 2004 posthumous[26]
Arema 47 Achmad Kurniawan Goalkeeper 2006–2008
2010–2017
posthumous
Persebaya Surabaya 19 Eri Irianto Midfielder 1998–2000 posthumous
Persela Lamongan 1 Choirul Huda Goalkeeper 1999–2017 posthumous
Persis Solo 33 Diego Mendieta Striker 2011–2012 posthumous
Persepolis 24 Hadi Norouzi[27][28][29][30] Midfielder
Forward
2008–2015 posthumous
Died while sleeping. The cause of death was heart failure. A few days after the incident, Persepolis football club confirmed that the number 24 will be retired.
Sepahan 4 Moharram Navidkia Midfielder 1998–2004
2006–2016
Zob Ahan 30 Mehdi Rajabzadeh[31] Midfielder 2003–2007
2010–2011
2012–2018
Derry City 18 Mark Farren Striker 2000–2014 Number was retired in dedication to the club's all-time record goal scorer after he died of cancer.
Limerick FC 4 Joe O'Mahony Centre back 1966–1986 posthumous[32][33]
Hapoel Be'er Sheva 6 Chaswe Nsofwa Striker 2007 posthumous
Maccabi Haifa 20 Yaniv Katan Midfielder/Forward 1998–2006
2006–2014
Club's Legend
Maccabi Tel Aviv 8 Avi Nimni Forward 1990–1997
1998–2003
2005–2008
Club's Legend
Maccabi Tel Aviv 12 Meni Levi Right Back 2000–2002
Atalanta 14 Federico Pisani Deep-lying forward 1991–1997 posthumous
Bari 2 Giovanni Loseto Defender 1982–1993
Bologna 27 Niccolò Galli Defender 2000–2001 posthumous
Brescia 10 Roberto Baggio Deep-lying forward 2000–2004 Club's Legend
Brescia 13 Vittorio Mero Defender 1998–2001
2002
posthumous
Cagliari 11 Gigi Riva Striker 1963–1978 Club's Legend
Cagliari 13 Davide Astori Defender 2008–2014 posthumous
Chievo 30 Jason Mayélé Left/right winger 2001–2002 posthumous
Crotone 4 Antonio Galardo Midfielder 1995–1998
2002–2016
Club's Legend
Fiorentina 13 Davide Astori Defender 2015–2018 posthumous
Genoa 6 Gianluca Signorini Sweeper 1988–1995 posthumous
Genoa 7 Marco Rossi Midfielder 2003–2004
2005–2013
Club's Legend
Internazionale 3 Giacinto Facchetti Left fullback 1961–1978 posthumous
Internazionale 4 Javier Zanetti[34][35] Right fullback 1995–2014 Club's Legend
Livorno 25 Piermario Morosini Midfielder 2012 posthumous[36]
Messina 41 Salvatore Sullo Midfielder 2001–2007
Milan 3 Paolo Maldini Defender 1984–2009 Club's Legend
Milan 6 Franco Baresi[16] Defender 1977–1997 Club's Legend
Napoli 10 Diego Maradona Midfielder 1984–1991 Club's Legend
Parma 6 Alessandro Lucarelli Defender 2008–2018 Club's Legend
Pescara 4 Vincenzo Zucchini Midfielder 1973–1979 posthumous
Salernitana 4 Roberto Breda Midfielder 1993–1999
2003–2005
Club's Legend
Siena 4 Michele Mignani Defender 1996–1997
1998–2006
Club's Legend
Vicenza 3 Giulio Savoini Defender 1953–1966 posthumous
Vicenza 25 Piermario Morosini Midfielder 2007–2009
2011
posthumous
Montego Bay 2 Stephen Malcolm Defender 1989–2001 posthumous
Reno F.C. 7 Caple Donaldson Midfielder posthumous
Fujieda MYFC 2 Toshihide Saito Defender 2009–2013
Thespa Kusatsu 31 Ryosuke Okuno Defender 2002–2003
Yokohama F. Marinos 3 Naoki Matsuda Defender 1995–2010 posthumous
FC Astana 1 Nenad Erić Goalkeeper 2011–2020 [37][38]
FC Shakhter Karagandy 14 Andrei Finonchenko Forward 2000–2016 [39]
Llapi 9 Fadil Vokrri Forward 1976–1979 posthumous
Liberia 14 George Weah Striker 1987–2018 [40]
Al Ahly Tripoli 14 Tarik El Taib Midfielder 1995–2001
VB Addu FC 7 Ali Ashfaq Forward 2008–2011
Valletta 7 Gilbert Agius Midfielder 1990–2013 Club's Legend. Still serves today as an assistant coach of the senior team.
Atlante 12 Félix Fernández Goalkeeper 1989–1998
1999–2001
2002–2003
Guadalajara 8 Salvador Reyes Striker 1953–1967
2008
posthumous
Guadalajara 22 José Martínez González Midfielder 1970–1981 posthumous
Monterrey 26 Humberto Suazo Forward 2007–2014 Number retired on 12 December 2014
Monterrey 28 Jesús Arellano Right Winger 1992–1997
2000–2011
The shirt is not fully retired. Arellano has given consent for his son to adopt the number 28.
Pachuca 1 Miguel Calero Goalkeeper 2000–2011 His number had been retired on 23 October 2011 after Calero's retirement as a professional player. Later his number was retired again posthumous when he died on 4 December 2012.
Pachuca 17 Hernán Medford Forward/Winger 1994–1997
Pachuca 20 Pablo Gómez Forward/Winger 1999–2001 posthumous
Pachuca 110 Andrés Chitiva Midfielder 2001–2008
2011
UANL 7 Gerónimo Barbadillo Midfielder 1977–1982
UNAM 12 Sergio Bernal Goalkeeper 1989–1997
1998–2001
2003–2010
Raja Casablanca 23 Zakaria Zerouali Defender 2011
Ajax 14 Johan Cruyff Forward 1957–1973
1981–1983
Club Legend
Ajax 34 Abdelhak Nouri Midfielder 2016-2017 Nouri collapsed on the pitch after suffering severe cardiac arrhythmia so therefore Ajax retired his number in honour
NAC Breda 13 Ferry van Vliet Midfielder 2001–2002 posthumous
Telstar 22 Luciano van den Berg Defender 2004–2005 posthumous
Utrecht 4 David di Tommaso Centre back 2004–2005 posthumous
Vitesse 4 Theo Bos Defender 1983–1998 posthumous
Wellington Phoenix 22 Andrew Durante Defender 2008–2019 [41]
FK Osogovo 7 Nikola Mantov Forward  ?-1973 In 1973, during a football match between FK Osogovo and FK FAS 11 Oktomvri from Skopje, the 23-year-old Nikola Mantov –one of the best players of FK Osogovo at the time– collapsed on the field and died.[42] In his honor, the home-ground of FK Osogovo was named Nikola Mantov Stadium and the number 7 shirt was retired in his honour.
Linfield 11 Noel Bailie Defender 1986–2011 number retired in 2011 to commemorate his world record of 1,013 senior appearances for the club
Fredrikstad 8 Dagfinn Enerly Winger 2004–2005
Árabe Unido 21 Amílcar Henríquez Midfielder 2003–2008
2016–2017
posthumous[43]
Chepo 77 Jonathan Rodríguez Midfielder 2006–2009 posthumous
Universitario de Deportes 22 José Luis Carranza Midfielder 1986–2004
Lech Poznań 9 Piotr Reiss Forward 1994–1998
2002–2008
2012–2013
Legia Warsaw 10 Kazimierz Deyna Midfielder 1966–1978 posthumous
Widzew Łódź 11 Włodzimierz Smolarek Striker 1974–1978
1980–1986
posthumous
Benfica 29 Miklós Fehér Striker 2002–2004 posthumous
Boavista 29 Edu Ferreira Forward 2016–2017 posthumous
Died on 23 December 2017. The number was retired on 3 January 2018. Leonardo Acevedo was the last player to hold the number, but changed to the 59 shirt midway through the 2017–2018 season[44]
União Leiria 10 Hugo Cunha Midfielder 2004–2005 posthumous; has been worn again since 2009
Dinamo Bucureşti 11 Cătălin Hîldan Midfielder 1994–2000 posthumous
Dinamo Bucureşti 14 Patrick Ekeng Midfielder 2016 posthumous
Dinamo Bucureşti 25 Ionel Dănciulescu Striker 1995–1997
2002–2009
2010–2013
CSKA Moscow 16 Serhiy Perkhun Goalkeeper 2001 posthumous
Rubin Kazan 17 Lenar Gilmullin Defender 2003—2007 posthumous
Rubin Kazan 61 Gökdeniz Karadeniz Midfielder 2008—2018 Club's Legend
Ural 23 Pyotr Hrustovsky Striker 1999
2001–2003
posthumous
Alianza 2 Roberto Rivas Right Back 1960–1970 posthumous
FAS 10 Mágico González Forward 1977–1982
1991–1999
Municipal Limeño 11 Oscar Armando Díaz Striker  –1998 posthumous[45]
Najran SC 20 Al Hasan Al-Yami Striker 1991–1996
2005–2010
Number retired on 31 July 2012.[46]
Radnički Niš 10 Ivan "Beli" Krstić Midfielder 2000 posthumous
Spartak Trnava 9 Ladislav Kuna Midfielder 1964–1980 posthumous
Maribor 19 Stipe Balajić Defender/Midfielder 1998–2005
Ajax Cape Town 21 Cecil Lolo Defender 2015–2016 posthumous[47]
Orlando Pirates 1 Senzo Meyiwa Goalkeeper 2005–2014 posthumous[48]
Orlando Pirates 22 Lesley Manyathela Forward 2000–2003 posthumous
Daejeon Citizen FC 18 Kim Eun-jung Striker 1997–2003
2014
Daejeon Citizen FC 21 Choi Eun-sung Goalkeeper 1998–2012
Daewoo Royals, Busan I'cons 16 Kim Joo-Sung Midfielder 1987–1992
1994–1999
Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors 20 Lee Dong-gook Striker 2009–2020
Córdoba 8 Juanín Forward 1960–1970 posthumous
Espanyol 21 Daniel Jarque Defender 2002–2009 posthumous
Extremadura 19 Jose Antonio Reyes Winger 2019 posthumous[49]
Real Betis 26 Miki Roqué Defender 2010–2012 posthumous
Assyriska FF 18 Eddie Moussa Striker 2001–2010 posthumous
Helsingborgs IF 17 Henrik Larsson Striker 1992–1993 2006–2009
Kalmar FF 15 Johny Erlandsson Winger 1973–1988
Norrköping 18 Stefán Þórðarson Striker 2004–2007
2009
The shirt was worn by Þórðarson during his comeback in the club during the 2009 season. Has been worn again since 2017.
Umeå IK 6 Malin Moström[50] Midfielder 1995–2006
2007
The shirt was worn by Moström during her comeback at the club during the 2007 season.
Östers IF 6 Mario Vasilj Central Defender 2006–2018 Retired the number for six years.[51]
Basel 2 Massimo Ceccaroni Defender 1987–2002
St. Gallen 17 Marc Zellweger Defender 1994–2001
2003–2010
TOT-CAT 19 Chanont Wong-aree Defender 2009–2010 posthumous
Alanyaspor 90 Josef Šural Forward 2019 posthumous[52]
İstanbul Başakşehir F.K. 12 Recep Tayyip Erdoğan [53]
Kansas City 12 Lauren Holiday Midfielder 2013–2015
New York Cosmos 9 Giorgio Chinaglia Striker 1976–1983 Number posthumously retired in June 2014.[54][55]
New York Cosmos 10 Pelé Striker 1975–1977 Number retired on 1 October 1977, at halftime.[56]
New York Red Bulls 99 Bradley Wright-Phillips Forward 2013–2019 He left the New York Red Bulls in 2019, but the franchise had announced his number would be retired in August 2018.[57]
Portland Timbers 3 Clive Charles Defender 1978–1981 Number posthumously retired 23 August 2003.[58]
Real Salt Lake 9 Jason Kreis Midfielder/Striker 2005–2007 Retirement ceremony held on 4 July 2011.[59][60]
Tampa Bay Rowdies 6 Mike Connell Defender 1975–1984 Number retired 10 August 2013[61]
Tampa Bay Rowdies 12 Perry Van der Beck Midfielder 1978–1982
1984
1991–1993
Number retired 1 October 2010[62]
Shakhtar Donetsk 33 Darijo Srna[63] Defender 2003–2018
Zorya Luhansk 33 Maksym Iv. Bilyi Midfielder 2010–2013 posthumous[64]
Hoàng Anh Gia Lai 13 Kiatisuk Senamuang Striker 2001–2006
Hoàng Anh Gia Lai 14 Võ Bá Khôi Defender 2003–2006 posthumous
Swansea City 40 Besian Idrizaj[65] Striker 2009–2010 posthumous

Special cases


Team No. Player Pos. Career Notes
Milan 3 Paolo Maldini Left back, Centre-back 1984–2009 The shirt was not fully retired. Maldini has given consent for his sons to adopt the number 3 shirt if either of them play professionally for the club.[16][66]
Roma 6 Aldair Centre-back 1990–2003 The shirt number had been retired by the club when the player left the club in 2003. When Kevin Strootman joined Roma in 2013, he asked for permission to wear number 6. The club approved the request after Aldair gave his consent.[67]
Slavia Prague 7 Stanislav Vlček Striker 2004–2007
2009–2013
Rather than retiring the number, the club opted to freeze the number for any future player that wants it, provided that the applying player meets 7 game achievements. Among those are scoring 3 goals overall against Sparta Prague, being nominated for his national team, winning the trophy for top goalscorer and others. Even though Milan Škoda met the requirements in the 2016–17 season, he opted to keep his number 21. The 7 was eventually given to Danny upon him joining the team for 2017-18 season. Vlček gave his consent and Danny pledged to work to meet the remaining criteria.[68]
Argentina 10 Diego Maradona Midfielder 1979–1994 The number 10 had been retired by Argentine Football Association in October 2001 to honour Maradona. Before the 2002 World Cup, the AFA submitted a squad list of 23 players for the tournament, listed 1 through 24, with the number 10 omitted.[16] FIFA rejected Argentina's list, and the governing body's president, Sepp Blatter suggested the number 10 shirt be instead given to the team's third-choice goalkeeper, Roberto Bonano. AFA ultimately submitted a revised list with Ariel Ortega, originally listed as number 23, as the number 10.[69] The number 10 has been worn by other players since, most notably by Lionel Messi, whom Maradona considered "his successor".
Dunfermline Athletic 4 Norrie McCathie Defender 1981–1996 The club retired the number after club captain McCathie was found dead in his home on 8 January 1996, as a result of Carbon Monoxide poisoning.[70] At that time, Scottish League clubs used shirt numbered from 1 to 11, so for the remainder of the 1995–96 season, 12 was used instead. However, the number was not retired permanently, and has been re-issued since.
Livorno 10 Igor Protti Striker 1985–1988
1999–2005
In December 2005, Livorno officially retired the #10 jersey. However, Protti, who led the forward line and captained his side in two promotions from Serie C1 to Serie A, quickly gaining a reputation as a fan favourite, announced his willingness to see the #10 number reissued to another player, in order to "give anybody back a dream to dress it one day." This was made effective starting from the 2007–08 season, in which Francesco Tavano played with the #10 number.[71]
Exeter City 9 Adam Stansfield Forward 2006–2010 The club retired the number 9 for nine seasons after the striker died of cancer on 10 August 2010.[14]
Maccabi Tel Aviv 12 Meni Levi Defender  –2007 During a game between Maccabi Tel Aviv and Beitar Jerusalem, Levi chest-controlled and kicked the ball, ran back to defend, then collapsed. He returned to his feet, and then collapsed a second time. He was subsequently on a life-support machine, and has since returned home. The club claims that the number 12 is unofficially reserved for the fans.[72]
Universitario9 Lolo FernándezForward1930–1953Number retired only for the 2013 season.[73]
Leeds United 17 Massimo Cellino Chairman 2014 Leeds retired the number 17 shirt due to Italian chairman Massimo Cellino's superstitions, as 17 is considered an unlucky number in Italian culture. Number was re-issued in July 2019.
Motherwell 10 Phil O'Donnell Midfielder 1990–1994
2004–2007
Phil O'Donnell collapsed while playing for Motherwell against Dundee United in 2007. He was later pronounced dead at Wishaw General Hospital. The number 10 shirt was worn by his nephew David Clarkson during the 2008-09 season. Since Clarkson left in June 2009, it has not been retired, but has not been issued to any subsequent player.
Orlando Pirates 22 Lesley Manyathela Striker 2000−2003 The club retired the number 22, after Manyathela died in a car crash in August 2003. However, Confederation of African Football rules state that shirts must be numbered 1–30 in continental club competitions, so Pirates has been re-issued it in those special cases.
Oviedo 10 Peter Dubovský Midfielder 1995–2000 The Spanish Football League allowed Oviedo to retire number 10 just for the 2000–2001 season, as an exception to its rules. At the end of the season, number 10 was re-issued.
Sevilla 16 Antonio Puerta Left back, Left winger 2004–2007 The shirt has not been fully retired. It was temporarily retired after Puerta died of a cardiac arrest on the first matchday in La Liga 2007–2008 However, the Spanish Football Federation rules state that clubs must use number 1 to 25 for their regular squad, and as a result, David Prieto wore the number in 2008 in honour of his friend.[74] It has become a club policy to hold number 16 to players coming from the youth academy as a tribute to Puerta, who was a youth system product. Exceptions have been made when 16 was the only jersey number available.[75]
Stabæk 7 Christer Basma Central defender 1995–1998 The club had retired the number to honor his services for the club. However, the retirement was revoked after 2004 season and the number given to Henning Hauger.
Chelsea 25 Gianfranco Zola Forward 1996–2003 Chelsea have not officially retired the number 25 shirt, but it has not been allocated to another player since Zola left the club in 2003.
Portsmouth 13 Aaron Flahavan Goalkeeper 1994–2001 Following Flahavan's death in a car accident in August 2001, Portsmouth and his first club, Southampton, retired their number 1 shirts for the 2001-02 season as a mark of respect. From the 2003-04 season, Portsmouth retired the number 13 shirt, as this was the number Flahavan wore during the majority of his time at the club. Number 13 remained unused until 2011, when it was allocated to goalkeeper Stephen Henderson, and it has been reissued since.
LA Galaxy13 Cobi JonesMidfielder1996–2007The number was not officially retired by the Galaxy but had not been worn since Jones retired. In 2017, it was given to Jermaine Jones.[76]
Tampa Bay Rowdies7 Steve WegerleForward1977–1981
1984
1988–1990
Although his number had been retired by the original franchise in 1989,[77] the current team has reissued it.
FC Haka 14 Valeri Popovitch Forward 1994–2008 First ever retired shirt number in the history of Finnish football is ex-Haka's Valeri Popovitch's number 14. Popovitch has stated that his sons, who are still playing for Haka's junior teams, can wear the legendary number if they want.[78]
Wycombe Wanderers 14 Mark Philo Midfielder 2004–2006 Philo was killed in a car accident and the number 14 shirt retired. It was later revealed he was significantly over the drink-drive limit and his car veered on to the other side of the road, killing a 58-year-old mother of two.[79]
Lyon 16 Luc Borrelli Goalkeeper 1998–1999 posthumous — returned to use in 2011
Lyon 17 Marc-Vivien Foé Midfielder 2000–2003 posthumous — returned to use in 2008
1. FC Köln 10 Lukas Podolski Winger 2002–2006
2009–2012
The club had announced that the number would remain out of circulation as long as Podolski is playing football on a professional level. Nevertheless, the #10 was given to Patrick Helmes in July 2014.[80]
Galatasaray 3 Bülent Korkmaz Central defender 1984–2005 Despite the club announcing the retirement of the number, it has been re-issued.
Independiente Santa Fe 23 Léider Preciado Striker 1995–1998
2000–2001
2004–2005
2006–2008
2011
The number was out of circulation for a period of 23 months (starting May 2012) in honor of the second top scorer in the history of the club.[81]
Guadalajara 11 Ramón Morales Midfielder 1998–2011
2013– (as part of the coaching staff).
The shirt was never officially retired, but it was not issued out of American competitions for the time between Morales' exit and his return as a coach. All players intending to wear the jersey have to ask for Morales' consent. It is now being worn by Isaác Brizuela.
Pachuca 8 Gabriel Caballero Midfielder/Forward 1998–2002
2003–2004
2005–2009
His number was just temporarily retired for 5 years. After that period, it was reactivated and given to Hirving Lozano in 2014.[82]
Sagan Tosu 17 Sakata Michitaka Non-player 2001– The shirt was retired posthumously, to honour Michikata who played a key role in establishment of former Tosu Futures and their revival as Sagan Tosu, and who died due to kidney cancer on 7 January 2000. Number 17, derived from the day of his death, was selected to be retired. The number would later also be dedicated to the club's fans, thus they have not retired squad number 12 like most Japanese League teams.
Persepolis 7 Ali Parvin[83][84][85][86] Midfielder 1970–1987 The shirt was retired after Parvin's retirement, but Parvin gave the shirt to player Hamid Estili and the shirt has since not been retired permanently.
Barcelona 21 Luis Enrique Midfielder 1996–2004 Joined the club as a free agent from eternal rivals Real Madrid, and spent eight years at Barcelona. In his last years, he became the captain of the team. The shirt was retired for just two years (2004–06), since La Liga did not allow to retire numbers permanently. Former coach of the team. The number 21 shirt was awarded to Lilian Thuram in 2006.
Schalke 04 7 Raúl Striker 2010–2012 At the time Raúl left the club, the team intended to retire the jersey indefinitely.[87] However, the retirement of this shirt only lasted one year; since 2013 it has been worn by Max Meyer.
Wolverhampton Wanderers 1 Carl Ikeme Goalkeeper 2003–2018 Carl Ikeme retired from professional football before the 2018–2019 season after complete remission from acute leukaemia and the club decided to leave the jersey previously worn by Ikeme vacant[88] with newly signed Rui Patrício unusually wearing the number 11[89] and the other team goalkeepers wearing numbers ending in "1".[90][91]
Sydney FC 15 Terry McFlynn Midfielder 2005–2014 Sydney FC have not officially retired the number 15 shirt, but it has not been allocated to another player since McFlynn retired from professional football in 2014. McFlynn also held a staffing position with Sydney FC from 2014 until 2019.
Mohamed Atwi 20 Akhaa Ahli Aley Midfielder 2018–2020 Akhaa Ahli Aley have retired the squad number 20, in honour of Atwi's death in 2020 due to a stray bullet in the head. The club has retired the number for two seasons—from 2020 to 2022—the duration in which Atwi stayed at the club.[92]

Dedication to fans


Some clubs dedicate a number to their fans, and do not issue it to any player. The most common number for this practice is 12, from descriptions of the fans as "the twelfth man".

In Japanese footballing tradition, almost all the professional teams retired the number 12 for their supporters. The only two teams not to retire 12 are Urawa Red Diamonds and Sagan Tosu (Sagan retired 17 for a similar reason).

Other clubs and teams include:

Notes: 1 Despite of having their number "12" retired, Brazilian clubs have had to re-issue them for CONMEBOL competitions such as Copa Libertadores, where the squads must be numbered from 1 to 25 consecutively.[95]

2 Exeter City reserve the number 12 shirt for the 'Twelfth Man' sponsor of individual games. [96]

AIK and Djurgården IF reserve the number 1 for their supporters.

Indy Eleven reserve the number 11 for their supporters.

Reading, Notts County and Bryne reserve the number 13 for their supporters, Panathinaikos reserve this number in honour of Gate 13, the ultras based in the respective gate in home matches. Norwich City also reserve the number 13 shirt for "the fans" while Shrewsbury Town reserve the number 13 shirt for the fan who wins a pre-season competition.

After their 15-point deduction, Leeds United retired the number 15 shirt for the 2007–08 season only.[97]

Bursaspor reserve the number 16 for their supporters.

AFC Bournemouth use squad number 27 for the Steve Fletcher Stand which houses the large majority of hardcore supporters, the number 50 for "12th man" and the number 99 shirt for their mascot, Cherry Bear.

Gillingham use squad number 13 for the 'Rainham End' Stand of Priestfield Stadium as this stand holds the majority of hardcore supporters.

Oldham Athletic reserve the number 40 for their fans.

Panathinaikos have reserved the number 13 in honour of Gate 13.

Levadiakos have reserved the number 10 for the club president, Giannis Kobotis.

Leicester City have reserved the number 50 for the mascot, Filbert Fox, which he wears on his shirt at every game.

APOEL have reserved the shirt number 79 in honour of PAN.SY.FI. (APOEL Ultras), to denote the year the group was founded, 1979.[98]

Rochdale retired the number 55 shirt on 13 January 2017 in honour of five-year old Joshua McCormack who lost his battle with cancer.[99]

Atlanta United reserve the number 17 for their supporters and to reference their inaugural season in Major League Soccer.[100] For the 2021 MLS season, the club also reserved the number 44 as part of a tribute by Atlanta-area sports teams in memory of Henry Aaron of the local MLB club, who died January 22, 2021, where all sports teams in the area reserved the No. 44 for the year.

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