In an interview with Wolves, Super Eagles goalkeeper Carl Ikeme disclosed that the decision, taken on medical advice, hadn’t sunk in yet.
Here are his thoughts in full on having to retire from the game – and putting his health first.
“It’s been a tough year, I can’t explain how long it’s been. I got back home about six weeks ago after the doctor told me I was in remission. I’m happy to be home, be back at the club to see a few old faces, and just catch up with everyone again. I haven’t really been to Wolverhampton for a year or so and it’s nice to be here.
“It was a relief to know the intense part was over. I was in remission in the first month but you don’t know how the treatment is going to go. It was a relief to get the all clear to go home and spend time with your family. I’ll still be in hospital a little bit but it won’t be like it has been before.
“I spoke with the doctor and he suggested I should retire, because of the toll the treatment has taken on my body. He thinks it’s what is best for me and I can’t really risk trying to come back, my health is the priority. I want to be here for my children, family and friends.
“It’s difficult in a way to look back at what you’ve gone through in your football career. In the grand scheme of things with your life in danger, it’s the minimum price I have to pay to spend the rest of my time with my family.
“I’ve had a long year and I knew it would be difficult, but hearing it from the doctor confirmed what I thought might happen anyway. It’s sad when I look back, from being six or seven years old and the sacrifices it’s taken to become a professional football and the sacrifices my family and friends made to get me to training, that’s what you get a bit emotional about.