Ryan Mason has revealed he had "no option" but to retire following the head injury he sustained at Chelsea in January 2017.
Hull City midfielder Mason announced his retirement on Tuesday, having been advised that a return to competitive action would be against his best interests.
The 26-year-old fractured his skull in a clash of heads with Gary Cahill at Stamford Bridge, requiring surgery, and previously claimed that he felt "lucky to be alive" after the incident.
"I can confirm that following specialist medical advice I am having to retire from playing professional football," Mason said in a statement.
"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.
"Thank you to my amazing fiance, Rachel, who has been by my side and lived every single day with me since the injury, helping to give me the strength I've needed no matter how tough things got.
"We are so lucky to have now become the proud parents of our perfect baby boy George."
Mason is a product of the Tottenham youth system and won his only England cap against Italy in March 2015 before departing for Hull in the August of the following year.
"I am so proud to have come through the ranks to play for my club, the club I love," he added. "To have had the honour of captaining the team fills me with immense pride.
"Representing my country is an honour that nobody can ever take away from me and something that I am so proud to have achieved.
"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.
"I love the game, I always will and I am excited to see where football will take me next."
20. März 2018
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