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Ex-Stoke City defender Andy Wilkinson forced to retire with head injury

Former Stoke City defender Andy Wilkinson is forced to retire from football at the age of 31 having not fully recovered from a head injury.

Former Stoke City defender Andy Wilkinson has been forced to retire from football at the age of 31 due to a head injury.

Wilkinson had been sidelined since February last year when he took a ball to the face and he has not fully recovered from the concussion since.

"I sprinted back and completely lost my right peripheral vision," Wilkinson told Sky Sports News. "I'd just got back in the team so I just played on and didn't let anyone know. I played most of the game without being able to see on my right side."

His contract with Stoke expired last summer, but the Potters offered him a new deal so that he could continue his recovery with the club.

However, having flown out to America to see concussion specialists on several occasions, Wilkinson has been told that it would be risky to start playing again.

"As time went on I developed more things - vertigo, nausea, balance problems. Then I had problems mentally, anger and feeling a bit depressed," he added.

"Over a year on from the injury there are still a lot of things going on with my brain, my vision, my neck - all sorts of different symptoms.

"Even if tomorrow I woke up fine and the specialists did say it was fine to play, the risk is far too high."

Wilkinson made 160 league appearances for Stoke between 2001 and 2015.

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Andy Wilkinson for Stoke on August 27, 2014
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