While every footballer surely dreams of playing long into their 30s or of retiring at the top of their game, some players see their promising careers cruelly cut short. Here, we take a look at 10 players who saw their time on the pitch come to a premature end due to injury
Ryan Mason (Hull City)
Age when retired: 26
Injury: Fractured skull
The Hull City midfielder, who was capped once by England against Italy in 2015, suffered a sickening clash of heads with Chelsea defender Gary Cahill at Stamford Bridge 13 months ago. Mason described the injury as “life-threatening” and said the decision, from a medical point of view, was a “no-brainer”. “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,” Mason said.