A HOST of Ryan Mason’s former team-mates at Hull City led the tributes last night after the club’s record signing announced his retirement due to the fractured skull he suffered 13 months ago.
The 26-year-old needed life saving surgery following a sickening accidental clash of heads with Chelsea defender Gary Cahill at Stamford Bridge.
He had hoped to return, but yesterday confirmation came that the one-time England international had called it a day on medical advice.
Curtis Davies, Robert Snodgrass, Kamil Grosicki and David Meyler led the tributes on social media as Mason’s former club, Tottenham Hotspur, also tweeted their support along with the Football Association and Chelsea, who Hull face this Friday in the FA Cup.
“I am so proud to have come through the ranks to play for my club, the club I love,” said Mason, a £13m signing from Tottenham by the Tigers in August, 2016.
“To have had the honour of captaining the team fills me with immense pride.
“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.”
Mason, who also had a loan spell at Doncaster Rovers, made his England debut against Italy in March, 2015.
Following his injury, Mason’s Hull team-mates displayed their support by wearing shirts with his name and squad number on the back before a League Cup semi-final clash with Manchester United.
“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,” said Mason, who made 20 appearances for Hull.
“Thank you to the chairman and the board for being so patient with my recovery and sticking by me.
“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.”
Hull manager Nigel Adkins added: “The injury happened before my time, but all I know is that Ryan has worked so hard in the time that I have been here.”