Knee injury forces Rainworth skipper Mark Hales to hang up boots

RAINWORTH MW goalkeeper and last season’s captain Mark Hales has announced his retirement from football - at least for the time being.

Mark has been part of the club since the summer of 2006 and has been first choice goalkeeper through three promotions to the present level.

But he cites a constant struggle with a knee problem over 40-50 game seasons as the reason for his decision, although he added that his retirement is not necessarily forever and he expects to be about the place and training occasionally with the Wrens.

He said: “Its been a great few years at the club, seeing it change so much and being a part of what was Rainworth’s best period since the FA Vase run.

“Personally, I would like to thank Billy for my time there (and having the opportunity to lead the side last year), Lee and Darren, all the players present and past and finally the backroom staff who work tirelessly to make Rainworth one of the best clubs, with the best facilities, in the area.

“Also a special mention to the supporters who have always been great to me, especially the Hawleys, who have travelled the length and breadth of the country to support myself and the Wrens, come rain or shine!”

The club are now left with an anxious wait to find a new goalkeeper for start of the season.

And that search has not been helped after projected first choice Joe McCormack suffered a fractured elbow at work this week.

The former Alfreton and Forest Town stopper had been viewed by the Evo-Stik League club’s management as their replacement for the long-serving Mark Hales.

Meanwhile it is understood that the Wrens’ friendly at Retford United on Saturday has been called off by the home side.