Leeds United star and Northern Ireland hero Stuart Dallas announces his retirement from football due to injury

Leeds hero Stuart Dallas has retiredLeeds hero Stuart Dallas has retired
Leeds hero Stuart Dallas has retired | Getty Images
Stuart Dallas made 267 appearances for Leeds United and was part of the team which won promotion under Marcelo Bielsa in 2020

Leeds United fan favourite Stuart Dallas has announced that he will be retiring from professional football due to injury. The versatile Northern Irishman hasn't been seen in a Leeds shirt since fracturing his femur in a Premier League clash against Manchester City at Elland Road in April 2022.

Almost two years have passed since that moment, with Dallas missing the entirety of last season and all of the current one so far.

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In an emotional statement the 32-year-old revealed that he has worked tirelessly to return to the first team picture, but claims that knee suffered irreparable damage which will therefore prevent him from playing professional football both for club and country.

Dallas said: "Today, with a heavy heart, I announce that I will be retiring from professional football. Over the past two years, the Leeds United medical team, along with the incredible surgeons in London, have worked tirelessly to help me recover from the injury I sustained in the game against Manchester City in 2022. 

“Sadly, despite their best efforts, and my body not progressing how we need it to, I must now accept the fact that my knee suffered irreparable damage and I will not be returning to play professional football. I am of course devastated by this news.

“As a young boy growing up in Cookstown, Northern Ireland, all I ever wanted was to play professional football and I will be eternally grateful that for me, that dream came true. 

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“This may not be how fairytales are supposed to end, but I must now deal with the fact that this chapter of my life is drawing to a close.

“I am incredibly grateful to so many people who have helped me over the years, not only to make the most of my career, but who enabled me to do so with a smile on my face. My particular thanks must first and foremost go to my amazing wife Junéve, whose unwavering support has been ever present since the first day we met. 

“We have three beautiful kids, who we have created so many memories with and I will be forever grateful. To my family and close friends who I’ve spent so much time discussing this with, you’ve lived and breathed every high and low with me. Thank you.

“To all my previous managers and coaches at my present and former clubs, thank you for being part of the journey. When I moved from Northern Ireland to England I couldn’t have asked for a better club to go to in Brentford, and I’ll be forever grateful to them."

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Dallas started his career at Coagh United in Northern Ireland and made his first team debut at just 16 years of age. He lifted the Irish League Cup and Setanta Sports Cup with Crusaders in 2012 before making the move to English side Brentford that same year.

He won promotion from League One with the Bees in just his second season and earned a move to Leeds United in 2015, establishing himself as a stalwart in the team due to his versatility which saw him play in a number of positions including both wings, full back and central midfield.

Dallas is regarded as one of Leeds United’s most consistent players over the last decade - he has won the team’s Players Player of the Year on three occasions and formed part of the team under Marcelo Bielsa which won the Championship title in 2020 - ending a 16-year wait for top-flight football.

He went on to thrive aas the team finished in the top-half of the Premier League and registered a total of 267 appearances for the Whites in all competitions.

During this time, he was capped 62-times for Northern Ireland and notably helped the team qualify for Euro 2016 - the country’s first major tournament for 30 years.

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