The Hull midfielder suffered a fractured skull in January of last year and has been forced into retirement aged 26

First off, we must congratulate Ryan Mason on his career.

Born in Enfield, he would have dreamt of playing for Spurs and England from a very young age.

Whatever direction his life takes now, he can forever be immensely proud that he made that dream a reality.

Getty Images – Getty

Well played, Ryan

26-years-old is no age to retire.

It doesn’t matter how much money he’s made, or what you thought of him as a player, a human being being forced to give up what they love most for reasons out of their control is tragic.

It may not seem like it at times, in an age when internet trolls roam free, but most people wouldn’t wish this upon any player.

It’s easy to forget that professionals started out like you and me.

Mason, Messi, take your pick, they all pretended to be their hero while playing in the garden, or the street, desperately wishing they’d beat the astronomical odds and get to play even just one game at the top level.

Imagine the devastation of walking out onto a pitch and not knowing it would be the last game you play.

Every single player in the world takes that risk on a weekly basis.

The extent of Mason’s injuries only became clear after the incident

The extent of Mason’s injuries only became clear after the incident

Mason’s premature retirement reminds us all of the fragile nature of football.

At any moment, any…

…rest of the post