Ryan Mason has thanked everybody associated with the Club for their unwavering support over the last 12 months.
The 26-year-old has announced his decision to retire from football as a result of the head injury he suffered while playing for the Tigers against Chelsea in January 2017, but he will be forever grateful to those who gave him the best possible chance of making a playing return.
“I have to thank the Chairman, the medical team and absolutely everybody associated with the Club,” said Mason.
“It has been a very, very difficult time in my life but the Club has been fully supportive of me, patient with me and respected how I wanted to go about things.
“These people gave me the best possible chance of getting back out onto a football pitch. That is something that we all wanted, but we now realise that it is not realistic and not possible. I will come to terms with that and the Club know that I have continued to give 100 per cent. Once again, I just want to say ‘thank you’ to everybody that has helped me.”
Speaking more about the decision to retire and his feelings around that, Mason continued: “It’s a sad day because I have to stop doing something that I love.
“I’ve told my family, I’ve told the boys here and I’ve told everybody close to me. From a medical point of view, the decision was a no-brainer. The risk of playing football again was far too high. I know I’m making the right decision and I know that I’m not going to regret it.
“I have a young son, I have a beautiful fiancé and a wonderful family around me. These are the things that, ultimately, mean more to you than football.
“For the last 12 months I’ve been giving my all to get back onto the field and I was 100 per cent convinced that would happen. However, recently a CT scan showed some things that were a bit more than we realised. That changed my decision and I can’t carry on when there is no end goal.”
Despite the disappointment at having to call time on his playing career, Mason says he is excited about his future and whatever comes next.
“It’s a unique position to be retiring at the age of 26, but I’m excited about the future,” added Mason, who made 168 senior appearances in his career, including one for England in 2015 and 20 for the Tigers after joining from Spurs in August 2016.
“I’ve been through a lot, but feel as though I’ve achieved a lot as well. I’ve lived my dream. I feel that I still have a lot to give and whatever I choose to do I’ll be passionate about it.
“I’m a football fan and a football man. My whole life has revolved around football and I’m pretty sure that whichever road I go down, it will involve football. I love the game.”