Danny Spice has retired from football after 13 months out through injury.
The Sidley United defensive hard man has struggled to recover from a broken right ankle sustained in September 2011 despite undergoing two operations.
St Leonards-based Spice, 33, has only recently come out of a protective boot and is finally hoping to return to work on November 12.
He said: “This was a very hard decision for me to make, but one I have thought long and hard about and know it is the right one. Sixty-five weeks out of work and football is a long time, and has most probably been the most difficult time of my life financially, mentally and emotionally.
“To go back to the competitive game and risk it happening again is something I can ill-afford to do. Therefore I have decided to make this decision not just for me, but for my three daughters Summer, Sienna and Lexie who I can’t and won’t put through this again.”
Having completed his FA level one course, Spice will remain involved with football in a coaching capacity as he seeks to put something back into a game which he says has given him so much.
Spice made more than 150 appearances for Hastings United before joining Sidley in September 2009. See tomorrow’s Hastings and Bexhill Observers for the full article.