FORMER GRAYS Athletic legend Stuart Thurgood has been forced to retire due to a knee injury. He is 28.
Stuart had five fabulous years at Bridge Road, enjoying promotions and two FA Trophy wins.
Stuart began his career at Tottenham and played for Exeter City Director of Football Steve Perryman at Japanese Club Shimizu S-Pulse. He returned to England and played for Southend United, Grays Athletic and Gillingham.
Stuart was known for his trademark battling midfield style where it seemed he was doing the job of four men.
John Still tried for two years to bring him to Victoria Road such was his admiration of the midfielder. He finally got his man from Grays at the start of the 2009/10 season and the season started so brightly for him.
He was winning all the plaudits with his closing down and battling midfield displays. Many fans believe that if he’s stayed fit for the whole season the club would have won automatic promotion such was his influence on the pitch. A dip in form followed Stuart’s omission from the side due to the injury which happened almost a year ago as he explains.
Speaking to the Daggers website, Stuart said:
“When we played Rochdale in November and I came down on my ankle and felt my knee a little bit. I came back against Harlow in the Essex Senior Cup after a few weeks off and my knee was really sore. I had a scan and that’s when I was told it was tears in my cartilage and it’s never got better since then.”
“The Club have been really good to me and offered me a job coaching with the Academy but at the moment it’s not something I want to look into. I’ve just got to get my head around the idea of not playing again. I turned that job down but I want to thank the club for trying to help me all they can.