(Photo: Action Images via Reuters)
By Adam Ellis
Hull City midfielder Ryan Mason has announced his retirement from football 13 months on from his clash of heads with Chelsea’s Gary Cahill.
The England international has been advised by expert neurologists to call it a day despite his best intentions to make a comeback to professional football.
Making the announcement, the former Yeovil Town, Doncaster Rovers and Swindon Town loanee said: “I can confirm that following specialist medical advice I am having to retire from playing professional football.”
“I have worked tirelessly in order to be able to return to the pitch.
“Unfortunately, having taken expert medical advice I now have no option but to retire due to the risks involved given the nature of my injury.
“I am and always will be eternally grateful for the incredible network of people around me who have helped me to recover from what was a life-threatening injury in January 2017.
“Thank you to my amazing fiancé, Rachel, who has been by my side and lived every single day with me since the injury, helping to give me the strength I’ve needed no matter how tough things got.
“We are so lucky to have now become the proud parents of our perfect baby boy George.
“To my Mum, Dad, sisters, and all of my family and close friends, thank you for everything.
“Despite how tough it’s been and the challenges I’ve faced along the way you’ve all been there supporting me and words will never truly do justice to how grateful I am for your love and support.”
The £13million signing was injured in Hull City’s trip to Stamford Bridge in January 2017 and underwent surgery 61 minutes after challenging for a header with defender Cahill.
After hanging up his boots, Mason was modest in expressing his gratitude to those who had worked hard to get the 26-year-old back on a football pitch.
“I would like to thank everyone at Hull City, especially The Doc Mark Waller and all of the medical team for helping me to recover.
“Thank you to the Chairman and the board for being so patient with my recovery and sticking by me.
“Thank you to all of my teammates over the years, there are too many to mention, it’s been a privilege to play alongside you all.
“Finally, representing my country is an honour that nobody can ever take away from me and something that I am so proud to have achieved.
“I’m retiring from the game with my head held high having done everything in my power over these past 13 months to have given myself every opportunity to return to the pitch.”