During a recent house move, we came across a lot of old magazines, including an edition of Arsenal fanzine The Gooner from 2002, in which Brian Dawes argues against the retiring of numbers which had previously belonged to club legends.
Barring West Ham standing down the number 6 for Bobby Moore, it’s not something which has really caught on in England, with the practice generally restricted to honouring players who have died young, or else vacating the number 12 in for a club’s fans.
I completely agree. (Though I thought it was a nice touch to leave it vacant for a little bit rather than immediately reassign.)
I’d make an exception for numbers over 11 though. While many people have had lower numbers, squad numbers are new-ish and despite Keown and Walcott both having it at as well, there will only ever be one number 14 at Arsenal.