Stockton Town midfielder retires due to medical reasons

Stockton Town midfielder Tom Portas has announced his retirement from football after five years with the club.

Portas will step away from the game after suffering a serious achilles injured during their NPL East Division play-off final victory over Dunston back in May.

He featured 157 times for the Anchors and scored seven goals during an impressive spell which saw him gain two promotions with his hometown club.

Portas, who linked up with Michael Dunwell's squad following a move from West Auckland in 2019, is also well known for his highly successful spell at nearby Darlington, where he made 128 appearances and also helped the Quakers to two promotions.

The club say the decision to retire has been made after numerous meetings with a consultant over recent weeks.

They also added that following the "extremely difficult decision" for Portas to hang up his boots, the midfielder will continue his rehabilitation with the club.

“Ever since the play-off final and my injury, this decision has been playing on my mind all the time and it hasn’t been easy," Portas said.

“Playing football has been part of my life for a very long time. After making the decision to hang my boots up, I can only look back on my non-league career and be proud of what I have achieved, with five promotions under my belt.

“I wish Stockton Town all the best for the future and I couldn’t be more grateful to Marty [Hillerby, club chairman] Michael, all the staff and players for my time at the club. Instead of being a player, I am now a fan."

Paying tribute to the midfielder, manager Michael Dunwell said: “Tom has been a pivotal part of our success in the past five years.

“He’s been one of our most consistent performers. He’s such a character in the dressing room, and has been a driving force to what we’ve achieved in that time.

“He’s made such a tough decision but one we all know is right for him and his family.

“He will be a huge miss on the pitch and in the dressing room. I personally would like to thank him for his commitment to the club and wish him and his family well in the future."

Photo credit: Stockton Town

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