European Football icon Sean Shelton announces retirement

Quarterback Sean Shelton has announced his retirement from football after a storied eight years in Europe.

Shelton is most known as the face of the Raiders Tirol, Austria. He has led the Innsbruck-based team to five Austrian Football League Championships, three Central European Football League Championships and two European Superfinal Championships.

Following his graduation from the relatively obscure William Jewell College (NCAA, DII) in Missouri, in 2014, Shelton signed with the Elancourt Templiers in France’s French Elite League. After a dominant season Shelton was named league MVP.

Later that same year, Shelton signed with the then Finnish powerhouse, the Helsinki Roosters, who had lost their starting quarterback due to an injury. Shelton continued his European tour of domination and led the Roosters to their third Maple Bowl victory in a row.

Over the course of one year with two teams, Shelton won 16 games, threw for 4,620 yards and 59 touchdowns, and rushed for a further eight touchdowns, quickly establishing himself as one of the hottest quarterbacks in Europe.

It was this immediate success that caught the eye of one of the premier teams in Europe, the Swarco Raiders. Shelton, realizing the opportunity in front of him, pounced at the chance to lead the Raiders into battle and hasn’t looked back since.

Photo: Flo Mitteregger


During his time in Innsbruck Shelton built a life for himself and settled down. He contributed countless hours to the development of youth and senior football and led a small-town football team to fame and fortune.

For his swansong, Shelton participated in the newly formed, and apparent future of, European football, the European League of Football (ELF). After a rocky start Shelton soared back and led one of the most productive offenses to the semi-finals before losing to the Hamburg Sea Devils. Shelton’s heroic efforts in ELF earned him the league’s MVP trophy.

Shelton will undoubtedly go down in the books as one of the best to ever do it in Europe. His leadership, humility and talent will be sorely missed by fans and players alike. 

Good luck Sean, we look forward to seeing you on the sidelines in the near future.

Daniel Mackenzie is a Press Association graduate who works in journalism and communications in the third sector. Daniel began playing football for the London Warriors and Team Great Britain and has since played across Europe.