Wolves goalkeeper Carl Ikeme has announced his retirement from football at the age of just 32 on doctor’s advice after a year-long battle with cancer.
The 32-year-old revealed last month that he was in ‘complete remission’ after being diagnosed with acute leukaemia in July last year.
Ikeme made 274 domestic career appearances in all competitions, with over 200 of them coming for Wolves, the club he joined in 2000 as a 14-year-old.
The stopper went on to win two promotions, and ten international caps for Nigeria.
Of the decision, Ikeme said: “Speaking to the doctor, he said I should retire, just because the treatment and the toll it’s taken on my body.
“I can’t really risk trying to come back, I just want to be here for my children and family and friends.
Thank you for the support over the years . My last day as a footballer. But one I am happy and great full for !!! Thanks to everyone to do with @wolves and everyone in football I have met. 🔶◼️❤️ https://t.co/WM1s5A0czm
— Carl Ikeme (@Carl_Ikeme) July 27, 2018
After a year of intense chemotherapy I would like to share that I am in complete REMISSION. I still have hurdles to pass to be cured,but hopefully I can move on with some normality! I would like to thank everyone for there support over the past year. Thank you❤️ #Grateful🙏🏽
— Carl Ikeme (@Carl_Ikeme) June 23, 2018
“It’s difficult when you look back at the things you’ve gone through in your football career but in the grand scheme of things with your life in danger, it’s the minimum price to pay to have a life with my family.”
Premier League new-boys Wolves posted an emotive statement on their club website following the announcement.
Managing director Laurie Dalrymple said: “While this news will undoubtedly leave the Wolves family feeling sadness for someone they care about deeply, it also gives us the opportunity to celebrate an exceptional career and a true servant of this football club.
“A brilliant goalkeeper who deservedly earned promotions and international caps, Carl’s exemplary application on the pitch was matched off it by tireless hard work and a positive attitude that will continue to be an inspiration for young players coming through our Academy for many years to come.