Heart condition forces Keal Carlile into early retirement

James Messenger

Halifax hooker Keal Carlile has announced his early retirement from rugby league on medical grounds.

In a statement released on social media, Carlile, 29, says that he will hang up his boots in a decision made in the best interests of his family and long-term health.

Fax’s number 14 has appeared three times already this season, including last weekend’s narrow defeat away at former club Sheffield.

Carlile began his professional career with Bradford in 2008 and has gone on to make just short of 200 career appearances for clubs including Hull KR, Sheffield, Featherstone and Newcastle.

His statement read: “Not the news I’ve been wanting to hear but I knew something wasn’t right. I’ve been told by my cardiologist that I need to retire immediately.

“Without going into too much detail, my aorta valve has now narrowed, resulting in my body and heart not being able to cope with the impact and intensity of Rugby League.

“It’s come as a massive shock to me and my family but it’s a decision that, when told by a specialist, I need to listen to and do what’s right for my health and my family going forward in life.

“On the bright side, I am proud to have played just short of 200 professional games, the majority of those coming after open heart surgery in 2011, which not many – if any – other player playing contact sport has ever done.

“I would like to thank all the clubs I’ve played for, from the backroom staff, board, all my coaches and especially all my team mates – I’ve met friends for life since turning pro when I was 16.

“Finally, and most importantly, I want to thank my family for all their support and especially my beautiful wife and kids who have been there through the highs and lows and each season copping for the mood swings after a loss and the general week to week rollercoaster of Rugby League.

“It’s all we’ve ever known as a family so me no longer playing it going to be weird for us all but I look forward to the next chapter and life after rugby.”

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