Manchester United goalkeeper, Paul Woolston has been forced to retire at just 23 years old due to injury.
Woolston joined United from Newcastle in 2018 and represented the club’s Under-23 side.
The North Shields-born shot-stopper suffered an unknown injury that led him to have two operations and a lengthy rehabilitation period but unfortunately, he’s been unable to return to full fitness.
Woolston told United’s official website: “To have to retire at just 23 has been really tough to come to terms with but I feel a lot more positive now.
“I am really proud of everything that I have achieved, many people dream of playing football at this level.
“Of course, I would have loved to have gone on further but it has been an absolute honour to represent Manchester United during my time here.
“Everyone has played a major part in my journey by keeping my spirits up, allowing me to reflect positively on my playing experiences and begin to look to the future.
“Right now, I am fully focused on the next stage of my career. I am ready to use all of my learnings, resilience, drive and determination to make a real success of my life.”
Woolston, who also trained with the senior squad, received messages of solidarity from team-mates with star goalkeeper David de Gea leading the way.
De Gea said: “Well, it’s always bad when someone has to retire at a young age.
“I’ve spoken with him, the other day, and said to him that the most important thing is life, more than football, in terms of a proper life.
“It was sad. I have been training with him when he was fit, and it’s very sad news.
“I wish him all the best. He’s a great lad, a great goalkeeper and we all feel really sorry for him.
“I trained with him and he had a very good left foot, I remember, and it’s sad for him and for the club.
“But, as I said before, I was speaking with him and, first of all, it’s life and being in good conditions to have a good life.
“Of course, in life, sometimes problems happen and things happen. You have to keep looking forward, keep fighting and that is what life means. Like I say, I wish him all the best.”