Hull City midfielder Ryan Mason has been forced to retire from football at the age of 26 following a fractured skull suffered against Chelsea in January 2017.
The talented former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder, with one England cap to his name, suffered the injury during a clash of heads with Gary Cahill in the Tigers’ Premier League match with the Blues early last year.
Despite working hard to regain full fitness, Mason has been advised to call time on his career, amid further concerns over his health if he were to continue playing.
In a statement, Mason, who has previously spent time on loan with Yeovil Town, Doncaster Rovers, Millwall, Lorient and Swindon Town 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.”
It’s hard to put into words the year I have had. It’s been a physical and mental challenge that I am proud to have overcome, and to end the year holding my son in my arms is a special feeling. Coming back stronger! ?⚽️ pic.twitter.com/abAZLRAdIS
— Ryan Mason (@RyanMason) December 31, 2017
The Championship club added: “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.”