Wolves goalkeeper Carl Ikeme retires after year-long cancer battle
By Sky Sports News
Last Updated: 27/07/18 12:30pm
Wolves goalkeeper Carl Ikeme has retired from professional football after a 12-month battle with acute leukaemia.
Last month Ikeme, 32, announced on Twitter he was in complete remission from the disease after "a tough year and intense chemotherapy".
But after a consultation with medical experts he has decided to call time on his career.
Ikeme joined Wolves as a 14-year-old and has made more than 200 appearances for the club.
He has 10 international caps for Nigeria, who named him as their 24th squad member for the World Cup this year as a special tribute.
"I can't risk trying to come back, my health is the main thing in all of this," Ikeme told Wolves' official website.
"It's difficult when you look at all the things you've gone through in your football career, but in the grand scheme of things, with your life in danger, it's a minimum price I have to pay to spend time with my family."
Ikeme said he was proud to have been a "one-club man" and had watched Wolves' promotion campaign closely.
"This is my club," he said. "It's been strange because this year I've enjoyed being a fan, watching the games. I'd be getting a bit heated on my own in my hospital room when nobody was about.
"When I'm doing radio commentary it's no different, I try to be professional but it spills out. This is my club and it always will be, now I'm not playing, I'm a fan and I'm looking forward to it.
"I'll be coming to enjoy the games with the fans who've supported me in my whole career, through the hardest moments."
Wolves executive chairman Jeff Shi said: "Carl is far more than just a player in our eyes - he is our brother and an important part of our family.
"When Carl came to tell us his news, yes there was sadness, but also great happiness to see him so healthy and hungry for the opportunities that lay ahead of him."