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Injury Finally Beats Richard Smith!!

By: Bill Osborne
Date: 23/10/2001

FORMER Grimsby Town defender rated by many as one of the best defenders seen at Blundell Park announced his retirement from the game with a back injury. In his statement today Richard slated Grimsby Town Football Club for not standing by him "In my hour of need!"

Smith who underwent spinal surgery almost 2 years ago and again earlier this year said in an interview with the Grimsby Telegraph that any other club would have backed him financially through his rehabilitation.

"I've taken the decision to retire but I don't feel like I've been given a fair chance to get fit," he said. "I think that any other club with a player in that position would be looking after him. Not with a fortune, but with a little basic wage to give them half a chance and cover the mort gage. I haven't got an income but I understand the club's in financial difficulties so they cut their losses.

"If I'd have been anywhere else I would have had a chance, but here I wasn't given that and I do feel bitter about it. If the club could have given me a couple of hundred quid a week to give me a chance and cover my mortgage that could have done it."

"...I have cut my losses!!..."

Smith said he will sell up and head back to the Midlands and get a job because he does not want to spend his life savings. "I've had to make a decision. How long do you go on for before there's no money left? I have cut my losses and decided to get myself a job with having a family. In a way it's not come as a shock."

"When I look back over the five or six years it's been very topsy-turvy but there's been some very happy memories too."

This is sad news for Smith who as a partner to Peter Handyside formed a formidable defence lineup for Grimsby.

Richard Smith Profile

Ed: His bitterness is understandable but the club did keep him for almost two seasons with his injury and due to the financial circumstances let him go at the beginning of this season with a proviso that he could return if he recovered his fitness. Unfortunately that seems not to be the case and football have lost a very good player and Grimsby a good servant to the club.

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