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In full: Ryan Mason statement announcing retirement from football

Read Ryan Mason's statement in full as the Hull City midfielder is forced to retire from football aged 26 due to a head injury.

Hull City midfielder Ryan Mason has announced his retirement from football due to a serious head injury that he suffered over a year ago.

The former Tottenham Hotspur player has been forced to hang up his boots at the age of 26 after accepting that returning to the pitch would present too many risks to his health.

Mason, who signed for Hull from Spurs in 2016, fractured his skull during a collision of heads with Chelsea defender Gary Cahill in January 2017.

The midfielder's emotional statement can be read in full below.

"I can confirm that following specialist medical advice I am having to retire from playing professional football. 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.

"To my Mum, Dad, sisters, and all of my family and close friends, thank you for everything. Despite how tough it's been and the challenges I've faced along the way you've all been there supporting me and words will never truly do justice to how grateful I am for your love and support.

"I would like to thank everyone at Hull City, especially the doc Mark Waller and all of the medical team for helping me to recover. Thank you to the chairman and the board for being so patient with my recovery and sticking by me.

"There are too many names to mention when it comes to talking about Tottenham Hotspur but I would like to say a special thank you to John McDermott, the gaffer and everybody at Spurs for helping me to achieve my dreams.

"I am so proud to have come through the ranks to play for my club, the club I love. To have had the honour of captaining the team fills me with immense pride. Thank you to all of my teammates over the years, there are too many to mention, it's been a privilege to play alongside you all.

"Finally, 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 feel content knowing that I dedicated my life to be able to play football at the highest level, hard work really does pay off! I love the game, I always will and I am excited to see where football will take me next."

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CManchester CityMan City3832421062779100
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd38256768284081
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs38238774363877
4Liverpool382112584384675
5Chelsea382171062382470
6Arsenal381961374512363
7Burnley381412123639-354
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9Leicester CityLeicester381211155660-447
10Newcastle UnitedNewcastle38128183947-844
11Crystal Palace381111164555-1044
12Bournemouth381111164561-1644
13West Ham UnitedWest Ham381012164868-2042
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15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton38913163454-2040
16Huddersfield TownHuddersfield38910192858-3037
17Southampton38715163756-1936
RSwansea CitySwansea3889212856-2833
RStoke CityStoke38712193568-3333
RWest Bromwich AlbionWest Brom38613193156-2531
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Championship Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CWolverhampton WanderersWolves46309782394399
2Fulham472613880463491
4Aston Villa4724111272432983
5Middlesbrough4622101467452276
6Derby CountyDerby4620151170482275
7Preston North EndPreston4619161157461173
8Millwall4619151256451172
9Brentford4618151362521069
10Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd46209176255769
11Bristol City461716136758967
12Ipswich TownIpswich46179205760-360
13Leeds UnitedLeeds46179205964-560
14Norwich CityNorwich461515164960-1160
15Sheffield WednesdaySheff Weds461415175960-157
16Queens Park RangersQPR461511205870-1256
17Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest46158235165-1453
18Hull City461116197070049
19Birmingham CityBirmingham46137263868-3046
20Reading461014224870-2244
21Bolton WanderersBolton461013233974-3543
RBarnsley46914234872-2441
RBurton Albion461011253881-4341
RSunderland46716235280-2837
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