Newcastle star’s son forced to retire at 31 after being diagnosed with arthritis

  • Bookmark
  • For the latest from the pitch sign up for our football newsletter

    We have more newsletters

    The son of Newcastle United star Rob Lee has been forced into early retirement as the result of an arthritis condition.

    Olly Lee, 31, followed in the footsteps of his father to make the grade as a professional footballer, graduating from the prestigious West Ham academy in 2009. Despite failing to make an appearance for the Hammers' first team, Lee Jr enjoyed a respectable career in the lower leagues of English football, turning out for Birmingham City, Luton Town and most recently Gillingham Town.

    The central midfielder made 32 appearances as the Kent-based club were relegated to the fourth tier on the final day of the 2021/22 season but has started just four matches this term, having been diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis and Raynaud's condition over a year ago.

    READ MORE: John Yems says 'if anybody needs an apology I think I do' in 'car crash' interview

    "I can’t believe I am actually writing this, but having been diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis and Raynaud's condition over a year ago, I am now having to face the fact I can no longer continue my professional football career," reads a statement from Olly Lee via the Gillingham website.

    "I can no longer perform to the levels I know I am capable of, my body no longer allows it. This has been an extremely painful journey both mentally and physically. I have tried many medications over the last year, and many comebacks, but to no avail.

    "I am thankful for the moments I have been fortunate enough to experience, and can now finally look back on my career with pride at what I did manage to achieve. I want to say a special thank you to my wife, Beth, for following me wherever football took us and never questioning it for a second, without your support I couldn’t have done any of it.

    HAVE YOUR SAY! Should football clubs provide alternative pathways for players who are forced to retire early? Let us know in the comments section.

    "To my kids, I wish you could have seen daddy play more but I won’t hesitate to get the clips out and I hope I will make you proud in the future. And to my family for guiding me and helping me in both the highs and the lows, I am forever grateful for you all.

    "I am thankful for all the support from the fans at the clubs I was lucky enough to represent, particularly Luton and Hearts, two clubs that are now extremely close to my heart and I will always follow. A big thank you must go to Gillingham fans for always being great with me during my time at the club and particularly manager Neil Harris and all staff behind the scenes for being so supportive during such a difficult period for myself.

    "There are still tough days ahead but I am very lucky to have found my passion in coaching, and helping people which I am excited to dive into now. Although playing at the level is no longer part of my journey, it is now the fuel that drives me to help the next generation of players on their journey."

    According to the NHS website, psoriatic arthritis is a type of arthritis that affects some people with the skin condition psoriasis. It typically causes affected joints to become swollen, stiff and painful. Raynaud's condition or phenomenon affects your blood circulation and when cold, anxious or stressed, sufferers may notice their fingers and toes change colour, with other symptoms including pain, numbness, pins and needles, and difficulty moving the affected area.

    Enduring a tough start to the League Two season, the Gills are currently embroiled in a relegation battle to maintain their EFL status but have enjoyed a recent upturn in form, winning five of the last seven matches to put a four-point gap between themselves and Crawley Town in 23rd.


    • Jeff Stelling loses his microphone celebrating late Hartlepool goal on Soccer Saturday

    • Crawley Town sign brother of Sidemen star after trial – as fans ask 'what is going on'

    • Football hooligans hurl chairs and use stools as weapons as shoppers run for cover

    • Every deal done on Transfer Deadline Day with Man Utd, Chelsea and Spurs all active

    • League Two
    • Gillingham FC
    • Newcastle United FC

    Source: Read Full Article