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Clive Mendonca: Why I Quit
By: Bill Osborne
CLIVE MENDONCA tells his own story of his injury and his decision to hang up his boots after being advised that he risks disability if he undergoes surgery again. Talking on his own website Clive said:
I've had to face facts and take the biggest decision of my life. And that means I will never play professional football, the game that I love, ever again. My emotions are still blurred from wrestling with the choice I had to make. But really, the risk of requiring a hip replacement was not one that I could entertain.
My heartfelt thanks go to everyone at the club, to Charlton Athletic. It's true that my time here has been the highlight of my career, but that goes for all my time, not just that unforgettable day back in 1988 when the Addicks returned to The Premiership at the expense of my childhood heroes, Sunderland.
I'll never forget that Charlton gave me a deal when I was out of contract, and I'm going to miss everyone, not just the lads, now I know that I can't even train, let alone play again. However, I know deep down that I've given it my best shot and I couldn't have worked any harder.
I made it back into the reserve side, but that was as far as it got before my old problems resurfaced at the start of the season.
Contrary to what people may expect, I have no intention of becoming a bookmaker now I've hung up my boots! In fact, I'm convinced I want to stay in the game and give younger lads the benefit of my experience. That's the next stage in a career I've had to reassess at the grand old age of 33.
That career has taken me from apprentice at Sheffield United to Doncaster, Rotherham and, of course, Grimsby Town before my move to South London in 1997.
I've no hesitation in naming my favourite game as the play-off final four years ago. Not only was it always my dream to play at Wembley, but I scored three good goals and the game was voted Game of the Century by Sky viewers. I've no worries if that's all I'm remembered for! Why not, those are memories that I will certainly take with me to the grave.
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