MATT PIPER RETIRES
mansfieldtown.net exclusively reveals that Matt Piper has decided to retire from football and hence will not be joining the club. Click here --> http://www.mansfieldtown.premiumtv.co.uk/page/News/LatestNewsDetail/0,,10325~1079197,00.html
PIPER - I HAVE TO QUIT THE GAME
Evening Post, 27 July 2007
Matthew Piper today said his respect for Billy Dearden led him to take the heart-breaking decision to retire just days into his trial with Mansfield.
The 25-year-old winger-cum-striker has been ravaged by injury and has had 11 operations on his knees.
He contacted the Stags boss two weeks ago to give it one more go at making a comeback.
But Piper has been forced to quit for good after feeling more pain.
"I could have gone down the road of not saying anything to Billy, that the knee was feeling fine and got a contract," he said.
"But the problems were always going to be there and I don't want to be someone just sitting in the stands picking up money.
"The club have looked after me brilliantly the times I have been there and I would never lie to anyone, especially Billy, who has been so good to me.
"I have got two little boys to consider as well because they are the most important thing to me.
"I want to still be able to run around with them in the park, rather than jeopardising my health by carrying on playing.
"The first few days it was not too bad but over the weekend it was really hurting.
"At least now I can look back and know I gave it everything I had and it just didn't work out. I'll have no regrets."
Piper earned a £3.5m move to Sunderland from Leicester City in 2002, just months after impressing on loan at the Stags. His knee problems are hereditary.
He said: "I have not really got anything in my mind that I want to do because football has been my life.
"I have to close that chapter in my life now and look for something else.
"Like a lot of young lads, I have not been careful with the good money I have earned so I'm not going to be able to sit back because I can't afford to."
Dearden said: "To try to make a comeback after so many operations takes a lot of courage and he was very keen to have a go.
"He hasn't looked out of place in training, but he has to think about his health."
Piper announces his retirement
By John Lomas
MATTY Piper today reluctantly announced he is to retire from football.
The pacey striker (25), who once moved from Leicester City to Sunderland for £3.5m, knew the odds were stacked against him as he attempted a comeback with Mansfield Town following a two-year lay-off and 11 knee operations.
Stags fans were hopeful that Piper, who impressed during an eight-game loan spell at Field Mill from Leicester six years ago, could play some sort of part in the forthcoming season.
But Piper, who was born with loose ligaments in both knees, has had to throw in the towel in agony within his first week back.
"Matty has rung me to tell me is in going to retire which is a big blow to the lad," said Mansfield manager Billy Dearden.
"He has not looked out of place in training and has made one or two sit up. But he has been in tremendous pain after every session.
"I am very disappointed for him as, to even try to make a comeback after so many operations at only 25 took tremendous courage.
"He was quite confident that he would be okay with the injections he had been having.
"He was very keen to give it a go but it didn't work out for him and he will now be ringing the PFA to sort out his insurance or whatever.
"I know Matty wants to stay in football and he is talking about taking his coaching certificates. Any way we can help him here we will do so. That's up to him.
"I would like to wish him all the best from the club in whatever he decides to do. He is a super lad."
Latest | July 2007