KNEE PROBLEM FORCES SERRANT TO QUIT
By Nic Evans
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Serrant has stated he will continue his career in football, in a different role, after battling against his problem for the last 18 months.
Naturally the news came as a blow to Serrant, who said: "It's a very strange feeling and I'm very disappointed that there is no way back. I thought it would be absolutely devastating when I heard the news.
"Retiring from my dream job has been one of the toughest things that has ever happened to me.
"Having said that, I knew that my last operation in October was make or break and, when I failed to recover from that one, I started to prepare for the worst.
"The awful thing is I have become used to not playing and so this week is no different to the previous one. The only difference is that I am unemployed this week."
Serrant, an England B international, was highly rated when he moved to St James's in 1998 and expected to fill the troublesome left back spot.
However, after only four appearances under Ruud Gullit, Serrant failed to start under current boss Bobby Robson, but the player has learned to live with the news.
"In actual fact the decision to retire has brought to an end one of the most stressful periods of my life and for the first time I feel quite calm," he said.
"Over the last 18 months I've gone through a whole range of emotions but in the last few weeks I have been at home with my family and I have had time to come to terms with what has happened.
"I'd like to say a big thank-you to my parents, brother, girlfriend and other close family and friends because without them it would have been so much tougher to keep going after so many setbacks. I'd also like to thank the Newcastle fans, the manager and the medical staff at the club - in particular Derek Wright and Paul Ferris.
"I can't see myself anywhere else other than in football. I will try my hand at anything, whether it's coaching, administrative or media-based work, and I know I have plenty to offer.
"For the first time in a long time I feel physically and mentally fit but I have to accept that I am no longer able to cope with the day-to-day rigours of the professional game."
Griffin, meanwhile, has gone under the knife in a bid to be fit for the start of the 2001/02 season.
Manager Robson said: "The injury might have settled down in the next 10 days but there was always a chance it would go again.
"Andy's going to get the surgery done now so that he can be back in time for pre-season training and ready for the start of the season.
"Without the operation there was always the possibility that the groin area would go again but doing it this way should rectify the problem once and for all.
"It's a minimum six week lay-off but this is the best time of the year to do it. I feel sorry for Andy because he came on to great effect against Sunderland and suddenly his season is over."
Amazingly Griffin's operation is the 14th that Newcastle players have undergone this season.