Mansfield Town defender Zander Diamond has made the agonising decision to retire from football at the age of 33 following a back injury.
The former Stags skipper was said to have retired on social media yesterday and that was finally confirmed by the club this afternoon after legal formalities were completed. Diamond made over 450 appearances in a career which started at Aberdeen, where he made his senior debut in 2003.
He has since played for Oldham, Burton and Northampton, before making the switch to One Call Stadium in July 2017. After playing 23 games last season, the former Northampton Player of the Season has been sidelined because of a back injury.
In a statement, he said: “The time has come to hang up my boots. “After 17 years in the game, injury has forced me into retirement. “The past six to seven months have been a nightmare and the time has come to accept that I have to give up the game that I have loved every second of.
“I want to really emphasise how much my wife and my daughter have supported and helped me throughout the last few months. They have been difficult personally but they have been my rock!”
Diamond added: “I want to thank all the clubs that I have played for.
“I want to especially thank Aberdeen Football Club for giving me the opportunity at a young age to start my journey as a professional footballer. “Also, I would like to thank Mansfield Town for their help throughout the last few months and wish them every success in the future.
“Finally I just want to thank all my family and friends who have been on this tremendous journey with me throughout my career for their love and support.” Following a meeting today at One Call Stadium, chairman John Radford, chief executive Carolyn Radford and manager David Flitcroft personally thanked Diamond for his service to Mansfield Town and expressed their well wishes to him and his young family.