Stockley forced to retire
Port Vale defender Sam Stockley has been forced to retire at the age of 32 due to an eye problem.
Last Updated: 02/11/09 11:11am
Port Vale defender Sam Stockley has been forced to retire at the age of 32 after failing to recover from an eye problem.
Stockley underwent an operation in April for double vision and has featured for the League Two club on a regular basis this season.
He played the full 90 minutes in Saturday's 1-1 draw at Dagenham & Redbridge, but has now been forced to quit professional football.
"This has undoubtedly been the most difficult decision in my career and it's not one I have taken lightly," Stockley told the club's official website.
"I have had 16 years in professional football and have some fantastic memories, but it's important that I put my health and my family first.
"My eyesight is something which has been troubling me and unfortunately, I've had to make the decision not to continue playing."
Stockley made 35 appearances for Vale after joining from Wycombe Wanderers in 2008 and also numbers Southampton, Oxford United and Colchester United among his former clubs.
Vale boss Micky Adams said: "Sam has been a pleasure to work with and will be missed on the pitch, as well as in the changing room. He is certainly a bubbly character, as well as a dedicated professional.
"The decision to retire is never an easy one, but it was evident that Sam had been struggling with his eyesight and in that situation, you have to put your health first.
"On behalf of everyone at Port Vale, we'd like to thank him for his efforts and wish him the very best of luck for the future."