- Gary Cahill issues emotional statement following Ryan Mason’s decision to retire
- The Chelsea star clashed heads with Mason while the two competed for a corner
- Mason was left with a fractured skull and has been advised against playing again
Chelsea defender Gary Cahill has been left ‘devastated’ after hearing the news that Ryan Mason is to retire from football at the age of 26, saying the consequences of their clash of heads has been ‘heartbreaking’.
Mason sustained a fractured skull after competing with Cahill during a corner in a Premier League match last January. He required emergency surgery on ‘life-threatening injuries’ and was released eight days later.
Although he had originally hoped to return to football, Mason announced that he will take medical advice and hang up his boots. Cahill was quick to issue a public response via Twitter.
Ryan Mason sustained his injury in an accidental collision with Chelsea defender Gary Cahill
Cahill issued his statement on Twitter following Mason’s announcement that he is to retire
The captain wrote: ‘Devastated to hear today’s news from Ryan. Competing for a corner is something we’ve done thousands of times and to see those consequences for a top professional like Ryan is heartbreaking. Sending all my love to him and his family, and wishing him the best for the future.’
Mason had originally announced his plans to return to football in early 2018 and said in October that he was waiting for his skull to further recover before taking to the field again.
But while he has made a full physical recovery, his skull has not yet regained its full strength and the risks associated with another serious blow to the head has led to Tuesday’s decision.
Mason had to have emergency surgery and spent eight days at St Mary’s hospital in London
On New Year’s Eve, Mason shared a picture of the huge scar he was left with on his head
The Hull midfielder said in a statement: ‘I can confirm that following specialist medical advice I am having to retire from playing professional football,’ Mason said. ‘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.’
Mason gave his first interview following the accident to Sportsmail in May last year.
‘It was like a bomb going off in my head,’ Mason said. ‘(The doctor) said there was a moment shortly after I arrived at the hospital, I think maybe just after I’d had a CT scan, that I was what they call “unresponsive”.
‘They acted very quickly and within minutes I was in surgery. But that was a life-threatening situation and it was a shock to hear that.
‘The doc, to be fair to him, had waited for the right moment to talk me through the accident and the operation. Any earlier and I don’t think I would have had the capacity to deal with it.’
In his first interview after the accident, Mason said the injury ‘felt like a bomb going off’