“I feel like a player who did his best at any time and in any situation”. That was Park Joo-ho’s (36) answer to a question at his retirement press conference about the kind of player he was. And he was.
Park hangs up his soccer cleats after six days. Park quietly announced his retirement to Suwon FC in May. But Suwon FC couldn’t let their captain and icon of dedication go, so they organized a retirement ceremony six days before the team’s match against Ulsan Hyundai.
A cloud of fans traveled to the Suwon Sports Complex to watch Park’s final game. Suwon FC prepared banners, and the escort boys wore jerseys with Park’s picture on them.
In addition to watching videos of Park’s K League career, Suwon FC owner Lee Jae-jun, the mayor of Suwon Special City, attended the ceremony to present a plaque of appreciation from Suwon FC supporters and a commemorative photo frame from the Ulsan Hyundai team. Park Joo-ho’s family members, including his daughter Baen Yang and son Gun Woo-kun, who earned a lot of money from entertainment programs, delivered bouquets of flowers.
Suwon FC supporters and colleagues also presented gifts to commemorate his retirement. After a photo session with all the players, the game began. The fans’ one-minute applause for Park in the sixth minute of the first half was spectacular. Despite the loss, Park played with no regrets, and it was his last game.
Park Joo-ho is a soccer player born in 1987. He can play both left back and midfield. In addition to playing in the K League, he also played in the 안전놀이터 UEFA Champions League with FC Basel. He has also played in the big leagues with FSV Mainz 05 and Borussia Dortmund. He played for Suwon FC since 2021 and led the team as captain before retiring on Sunday.
At the post-match press conference, Park said, “It wasn’t easy to decide to retire during the season. But once I made the decision, I felt at ease. It would have been nice if we could have gotten the result today, but I have no regrets and can say that I did my best during my career,” he said.
Park is known as much for his love for his family as he is for his career. Wanting to spend more time with his family was one of the reasons he made the difficult decision to retire. In a post-match interview on the field, he said, “I’m so grateful to my family,” showing his love for them.
He also talked about the reactions of his daughter Better Yang and son Gun Hu, who became popular through their entertainment programs. “When I told Better and Gun Hu, they were both sad. One of them said, ‘What are you going to do with your money now? He also said, ‘Don’t cook.’ Jianhu is into soccer, so he cried at my retirement. He said, “Why did you quit? But when I said, ‘I can spend a lot of time playing soccer with you instead,’ he was happy,” he said.
Now, Park is starting a new chapter in his life. “I think I need to organize myself. Nothing is set in stone yet. I’m going to spend June with my family and see what I can do,” he said. Nothing is set in stone yet.
But he has shown his dedication to his team on the field and to his family off the field. He can excel in any situation, in any position, in any discipline, just like he did as a player.