Phil Vickery forced to hang up his boots after neck injury

(Photo: David Howlett)

World cup winner Phil Vickery has been forced to call time on his career after suffering another neck injury.

The 34-year-old Wasps prop picked up the latest in a long line of neck problems against Gloucester at Kingsholm earlier this season and after a lengthy medical review he was advised to hang up his boots.

The former England captain has 73 caps for his country, a World Cup, two Six Nations titles and two British and Irish Lions tours to his name.

“I will look back on my career with a lot of happy memories,” said Vickery. “I feel privileged to have been part of some amazing teams in Wasps and Gloucester, to have worked with the best coaches in the world, and to have played against and with some of the best players in the game.

“I’m not afraid of fighting back or proving people wrong but there comes a stage when you have to listen and trust in the experts and it is based on medical reasons that I have been forced to retire.

“My love and passion for the game is still there which is the most disappointing thing for me – I wanted to end my career playing and playing with Wasps.

“My desire and want to play is still as strong as it’s ever been but this is something that has to happen and I’m looking forward to the next chapter.

He added: “You remember all the good things, all the positives, and everything that you’ve learnt and try and pass it on and I want to stay involved at the Club in some way.”

On the announcement Wasps’ Director of Rugby Tony Hanks, said: “We were really excited about his future, to the point where a contract extension was on the cards, so it is obviously a hugely frustrating and disappointing time for him that the full extent of the injury has become more clear since his illness cleared.

“I don’t think you can underestimate his contribution to Wasps, both on the pitch and through the leadership that he’s brought.

“He has fully bought into the Wasps culture and become a strong advocate of it. We wish him, Kate and their family all the very best for the future and I’m sure that, as Vicks has said, this is not the end of Phil Vickery and Wasps.”

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