Bath hooker Lee Mears forced to retire due to heart condition

Mears forced to retire
© AP Photos
Bath hooker Lee Mears announces his early retirement from rugby due to a heart condition.

Bath hooker Lee Mears has been forced to announce his retirement from rugby because of a heart condition.

The 33-year-old, who joined the club in 1997, was informed by medics that he would risk the possibility of developing further cardiac problems if he continued in the sport following a routine screening.

"Bath is my club and I love it," Mears told the club's official website. "This is not how I saw it ending but I feel enormously proud to have played for such a club so many times.

"This will be a tough period but the memories I have and the friends I have made over the years will be of huge support. Thank you to the club and to the supporters, I've loved every minute."

Bath head coach Gary Gold added: "Mearsy is a legend, pure and simple. His retirement will be felt by all of us at the club, and also by the supporters who have cheered him on over the years.

"The only thing that matters is that he is healthy, and if that means he stops playing, then that's the way it has to be. He will be missed, but we will always welcome him back with open arms."

Mears racked up 42 England caps during his career.

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