A career in sport is often the life of luxury, wealth and fame. Your years at professional level can treat you well, however, things can often take a turn for the worst when it’s least expected.
In embarking on a career in rugby in particular, injuries prove a constant worry for professionals as the physicality of the sport can be too much for the human body.
Tom Croft, ex-England and Leicester Tigers forward, was forced to withdraw from his rugby career on medical grounds - as a result of a neck injury - at the end of last month.
The 32-year-old has found it difficult in coming to terms with the untimely end to his professional career, forcing the retiree to seek a new path in life.
“It has been literally half my life since I was 16”, he told BBC Sport.
“Now, I have to get back to the real world and go back home to the list of jobs that have been growing for the past 10 years.
“It is something I have probably buried my head in the sand about for a long time. I probably never though I would retire.”
With most people just thinking of the economic concerns that would be seen for some of these retirees, it cannot be forgotten that the psychological impact of something like this can be the real problem for sporting stars.
“You speak to some ex-players and they say it is a bit like a bereavement. It’s a tough one to swallow but my friends, the coaches and the players around me make it a lot easier,” said a grateful, Croft.
With an unfortunate career end, it is great to see that he has support in his close family and peers.
Although it was a career cut short for the Englishman, the positives of an astounding career should most definitely be remembered. Croft can be proud of his one club status, proving to be a legend of his previous domestic club - Leicester Tigers.
Premiership title wins in 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2013 can speak for themselves in the recollection of Tom Croft’s excellent career in Rugby Union.
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