Manchester United have announced that young goalkeeper Paul Woolston has been forced to retire from football, aged 23.
Woolston regularly trained with the first team, but usually represented the U23 side, when he was fit. After two operations and lengthy rehabilitation, he’s unfortunately had to call time on his short career.
Speaking to Manchester United, via their official website, Woolston said: “To have to retire at just 23 has been really tough to come to terms with but I feel a lot more positive now.”
The 23-year-old is understandably devastated by the news, but the club have kindly offered him a support programme to help with his future plans.
Education sessions and support with coaching badges are among the things Woolston will be provided help with, and it’s great news to hear Manchester United are looking after him.
Woolston’s goalkeeping colleagues have voiced their support, again reported on the Official Manchester United website.
“It was sad. I have been training with him, when he was fit, and it’s very sad news. I wish him all the best. He’s a great lad, a great goalkeeper and we all feel really sorry for him,” said David De Gea.
“Look, I was speaking to Woolly last night and it’s devastating for himself and for all of us around him. He was a great guy to work with throughout the age groups. When I was in the younger age groups, I even remember playing against him when he was at Newcastle. For such a young lad to retire at the age he is, is devastating,” said Dean Henderson.
Hopefully Woolston has a long, successful career in football, even if it isn’t as a player. At 23-years-old, he has his whole life ahead of him, and it will be amazing to see him invovled at the club in a coaching capacity in the future.
Woolston only signed a new contract last year, and was highly-rated at the Manchester club.