Burton Albion goalkeeper Stuart Tomlinson has been forced to retire through injury.
The popular 28-year-old stopper joined the Brewers on an initial four month contract last September before extending his deal to the summer of 2014.
The former Crewe Alexandra and Port Vale man impressed at the Pirelli Stadium last season, making 25 appearances in a campaign that was disrupted for three months after the ‘keeper ruptured his posterior cruciate ligament in October.
Tomlinson was fit to return to the side just three months later and able to complete Burton’s promotion-chasing run-in; however exploratory surgery on his left knee at the conclusion of the campaign revealed severe scar tissue preventing movement of the knee; whilst tests also showed a tear in the anterior cruciate ligament.
Although the knee is intact, Tomlinson was advised that any further injury would result in him being out for a very long time; promoting the difficult decision to retire from the game.
Tomlinson commented: ‘It’s very disappointing as I was looking forward to coming back for pre-season training but with the prognosis and list of serious injuries I have had, I have to look after my long-term health.
‘I’ll miss being involved at Burton and have very much enjoyed my time here but I’ll now explore options outside of football and look forward to making a new start in a different capacity.
‘I would really like to thank the staff at Burton Albion from the Manager Gary Rowett, Assistant Kevin Summerfield and Kev Poole; who have all helped me massively.
‘The lads were awesome and that team spirit is probably what got us on a good run last season. I wish them all the best for the forthcoming season.’
Burton Albion Manager Gary Rowett added: ‘Tomo was excellent for us last season and an integral part of the team.
‘His retirement is naturally sad news however I have no doubt that he will succeed in whatever he decides to do next and we wish him all the very best for the future.’