At only 26, Sean Gleeson had a promising rugby league career ahead of him, was a fan favourite at Hull KR and was destined to perform well.
His life changed, though, when he was attacked in Greater Manchester three months ago, suffering an eye injury as a result of the attack.
It was only at the start of last season when Gleeson joined Hull KR from rivals Salford, but the incident has forced the centre into retirement to recover from the injury.
The club confirmed Gleeson’s retirement via a statement, citing medical reasons for the decision.
In a statement, the club said: “It is with deep sadness and regret that Hull Kingston Rovers can confirm Sean Gleeson has called time on his career with immediate effect.
“The Robins centre suffered a serious eye injury earlier this season and has been advised to retire from rugby league at the tender age of 26 following a meeting with medical experts last week.”
Gleeson also enjoyed stints at his home-town Wigan, Widnes and Wakefield and admitted the decision was tough and one he made with a heavy heart.
“It is with saddened regret that I have made the decision to retire from the great sport of rugby league,” he said.
“Coming to terms with this news has been difficult, but I would like to thank my agent, Martin Shuttleworth, for his support and guidance during these hard times as well as (chief executive) Mike Smith at Hull KR for his support and understanding of the circumstances I have been going through.”
Most importantly, Gleeson was quick to praise the Hull KR fans for their hospitality towards him and coach Craig Sandercock who gave him an opportunity.
“I would also like to say a big thank you to the Hull KR fans for welcoming me to the club and to Hull, where I have made so many friends in and out of rugby league,” said Gleeson.
“Lastly, I would like to thank (coach) Craig Sandercock for believing in me, giving me the chance to play for a club with such great heritage and for standing by me through the injuries that I sustained. I have learned so much from Craig and have massive respect for him.”