Ryan Mason has been forced to retire from football as a result of the fractured skull the Hull City midfielder suffered in their Premier League match with Chelsea last year.
The 26-year-old, who won one cap for England, was involved in a horrific clash of heads with centre back Gary Cahill at Stamford Bridge in January 2017.
The former Tottenham youngster needed emergency surgery on the life-threatening injury and spent eight days in London’s St Mary’s Hospital.
Mason sustained the injury in an accidental collision with Chelsea defender Gary Cahill
Mason had to have emergency surgery and spent eight days at St Mary’s hospital in London
Mason later said it was ‘like a bomb going off in my head’ in an interview with Sportsmail and on Tuesday revealed he is retiring following medical advice.
‘I have worked tirelessly in order to be able to return to the pitch,’ said Mason in a statement. ‘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.’
Mason also thanked his family for their support, including his fiancee Rachel with whom he has a baby boy called George.
Cahill tweeted on Tuesday: ‘Devastated to hear today’s news from Ryan. Competing for a corner is something we’ve done thousands of times and to see those consequences for a top professional like Ryan is heartbreaking. Sending all my love to him and his family and wishing him the best for the future.’
On New Year’s Eve, Mason shared a picture of the huge scar he was left with on his head
Mason became a father in December, welcoming his son, George, with his fiancee, Rachel
Mason played once for England, coming on as a sub in 1-1 draw with Italy in 2015
Mason emerged through Tottenham’s youth academy before moving to Hull in 2016
Mason started his career with Tottenham, where he made 70 appearances before being sold to Hull for £13million in August 2016.
He made a dramatic contribution to the start of Mauricio Pochettino’s reign — coming off the bench to hit a long-range equaliser when Spurs were trailing Nottingham Forest in the League Cup in 2014.
Tottenham went on to record Pochettino’s first win in five matches as the new manager.
And Spurs assistant manager Jesus Perez reflected on that goal on Tuesday, tweeting: ‘When you changed it all for us mate. We love you. Always with you.’
The collision with Chelsea’s Cahill left Mason with 14 metal plates on the right side of his skull and a scar that at one stage required 42 staples.
Hull signed Mason from Tottenham for a club record £10million transfer fee in 2016
Last October, Mason spoke of his hope to eventually return to football with Hull
In his first interview after the accident, Mason said the injury ‘felt like a bomb going off’
Mason hopes to remain in football, saying ‘I am excited to see where football will take me next’
Hull manager Nigel Adkins revealed Mason gave a talk to his team-mates on Tuesday