SAD: English Premier League Star announces retirement from football at the age of 26
Ryan Mason has been forced to retire from football on medical advice, due to the injuries he suffered in a clash of heads against Chelsea 13 months ago.
Hull City’s midfielder Mason revealed on Tuesday that after consultations with specialists, he has "no option" other than to abandon his comeback attempt.
Mason, 26, suffered a fractured skull in an accidental clash with Gary Cahill on January 22, 2017, undergoing eight minutes of treatment on the pitch.
He underwent surgery just 61 minutes after the incident, with neurosurgeons at St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington inserting 14 metal plates and 42 staples into his skull.
The one-cap England midfielder has since been fighting to make a return to the game and has spoken previously of feeling "lucky to be alive".
But after consultations with specialists, has now elected to retire due to the potential risks of a return.
Mason, who became a father last year, confirmed his decision on Tuesday morning, initially relaying the news in a speech to his Hull teammates, before releasing a statement.
"I can confirm that following specialist medical advice I am having to retire from playing professional football," declared Enfield-born Mason.
"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.
"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.
"There are too many names to mention when it comes to talking about Tottenham Hotspur, but I would like to say a special thank you to John McDermott, the Gaffer and everybody at Spurs for helping me to achieve my dreams.
"I am so proud to have come through the ranks to play for my club, the club I love.
"To have had the honor of captaining the team fills me with immense pride.
"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 honor 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.
"I feel content knowing that I dedicated my life to be able to play football at the highest level, hard work really does pay off!
"I love the game, I always will, and I am excited to see where football will take me next."
Mason came through the ranks at Tottenham, making 70 appearances for the club and scoring four goals, before joining Hull for a club record £13million in 2016.
He made 20 appearances for the Tigers, scoring twice.
Mason made one appearance for England, playing 16 minutes in the 2015 friendly against Italy in Turin.
He also spent spells on loan at Yeovil, Doncaster, Millwall, French side Lorient and Swindon Town, before his switch to East Yorkshire.
Mason had started training with the club again in May last year, but no expected return date was ever given.
A statement released by Hull City said: "It is with deep regret that the Club has to announce that, following the head injury suffered on 22nd January 2017, Ryan Mason is to retire from football with immediate effect.
"Ryan has sought the guidance of numerous world-renowned neurologists and neuro surgeons who have all advised that a return to competitive football is not advised.
"Ryan would like to put on record his thanks to all at the Club who have aided his recovery to this point and he his is indebted to them for their support and compassion over the past 12 months."
Former England striker Gary Lineker led the tributes to Mason.
"A real shame for an extremely talented footballer," wrote Lineker on Twitter. "Wish @RyanMason all the very best."
We'd like to wish the very best to @RyanMason, who has sadly announced his retirement from football.
Ryan made his #ThreeLions debut in our 2015 clash with Italy, having previously played for the #YoungLions at U19 and U20 level. pic.twitter.com/dcvPzFBmOz — England (@England) February 13, 2018
Everybody at Chelsea Football Club sends our best wishes to Ryan Mason following his retirement. Good luck in whatever you choose to do next, Ryan. — Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) February 13, 2018
Our thoughts are with @RyanMason who has made a difficult decision in announcing his retirement following a head injury in January 2017.
We wish Ryan and his family every success for the future. We are here to offer our full support, advice and guidance moving forward. pic.twitter.com/3qke2kMteK— PFA (@PFA) February 13, 2018
Everyone at #STFC is truly gutted to hear the news of your retirement, @RyanMason.
We wish you the very best of luck for the future. pic.twitter.com/25ECfWAI1a— Swindon Town FC (@Official_STFC) February 13, 2018
?????? | It is with deep regret that the Club has to announce, following the head injury suffered on 22nd January 2017, @RyanMason is to retire from football with immediate effect ?? https://t.co/ccKiMlH6ZK pic.twitter.com/uNQ6mALO35— Hull City (@HullCity) February 13, 2018