At the age of just 27, Jack Collison is contemplating a new career. He has a degree in sports writing so the move may be into the media. He runs a soccer school and a Miami holiday venture so his options are varied.
But this is not how Collison wanted his life story to develop. After making 121 appearances for West Ham and representing Wales at international level, the midfielder envisaged a long career in the Premier League with, perhaps, an international tournament or two with the resurgent Welsh side.
But it was not to be. He dislocated his knee in 2009 and the injury – at the age of only 20 – set the foundation for a career dogged, and then finished, by injury.
He said: “I never in a million years dreamt at 27 years of age I would be having to announce my retirement, but then again I never thought I would have played in the Premier League and for my country by 19.”
He even left east London and went to Peterborough in the summer to test his strength gain some coaching qualifications but the end of his playing career was evident in every painful step.
He said: “I still wake up some mornings feeling good and think: ‘One more try.’ But that would be unfair on myself, my fellow pros and my family. I want to bow out with some pride intact.”
He said he would sometimes struggle to walk but this would act as reminder that he was “lucky enough to play the game I love”.
He said: “I have had plenty of time to mull this over and I must say that Peterborough United have acted with class throughout.
"They have allowed me to make the easy transition from playing to coaching without any issues and I now intend to repay their faith by helping the next generation make the step from young up and coming, to first-team superstar.
“My passion for playing is slowly dying out but my passion for football is burning ever so strong and I intend to stay within the game and make my mark in other areas. I am currently completing my coaching badges whilst managing the Posh U18s, and I love watching my own soccer school flourish.
“I’m happy that I can look myself in the mirror and say I threw my heart and soul into trying to accomplish my dreams.
“The time has finally come to say, enough is enough, and admit my body can no longer cope with the demands of modern day football.
“Although football has made me the man I am today it doesn’t define me and I am very optimistic about the future.”