Paul Woolston

Manchester United U23 goalkeeper Paul Woolston has been forced to retire from football, aged 23 the club has announced.

Woolston who regularly trained with the first team decided to hang his gloves after two operations and lengthy rehabilitation.

In a statement on the United website, the keeper noted: “To have to retire at just 23 has been really tough to come to terms with but I feel a lot more positive now.”

The club’s first-team keeper Dean Henderson and David de Gea have all paid tribute to the player with the Spaniard describing him as a great person.

“It was sad. I have been training with him when he was fit, and it’s very sad news. I wish him all the best. He’s a great lad, a great goalkeeper and we all feel really sorry for him,” said David De Gea.

“Look, I was speaking to Woolly last night and it’s devastating for himself and for all of us around him. He was a great guy to work with throughout the age groups. When I was in the younger age groups, I even remember playing against him when he was at Newcastle. For such a young lad to retire at the age he is, is devastating,” said Dean Henderson.

The 23-year-old is understandably devastated by the news, but the club has kindly offered him a support programme to help with his future plans. Education sessions and support with coaching badges are among the things Woolston will be provided help with.

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