Manager Paul Cox has paid tribute to defender John Thompson following the news that the Irishman is set to retire from professional football.
Thompson, 31, made 15 league appearances in two injury-hit years at One Call Stadium, having sustained a horrific facial injury in a pre-season clash at Ilkeston in August 2011.
Our boss said: “I’ve spoken to John a number of times, especially over the last few weeks, and he felt it was time to call a halt to everything.
“He’s a great lad, excellent player, and to see this happen is awful. I think what happened [at Ilkeston] was an absolute disgrace and should never happen in or around football.
Cox continued: “He’s been a great servant at every club he’s played for and when he made the announcement to me, he looked as though a weight had been lifted off his shoulders.
“I think he’s going into physiotherapy now and we wish him all the best of luck. I’ve always said to him that I’ll always be here for him, if I can help him in any way.”
Meanwhile, the manager has also confirmed that talisman Matt Green was absent from last Sunday’s ‘Open-Top’ Bus Tour, due to personal circumstances.
“It was just a mix up and ‘Greeny’ had to shoot straight off back to his home,” stated our boss.
“I’ve heard all the rumours, but he wasn’t on the next bus to another club or being unprofessional. It was just a mix up and a lot of people may have noticed he was actually at the ground."
He added: “I’ve had good talks with Matt and I feel comfortable with him. I’d love the lad to stay here and talks were good initially.”