The 27-year-old joined Rovers from Wigan during the close season, and has made over 150 Super League appearances for the Warriors, KR and Salford, during a decade-long career.
“It’s just sinking in at the minute but I’ve had a lot of great memories from over the years and I’m just upset I can’t be part of the good times I’m expecting Hull KR to have here in the future,” Goulding told his club’s official website.
“I’d like to thank the club for everything they have done for me this season and also the supporters, who have been fantastic.
“I’ll always keep a close eye on how the lads are getting on and I’m sure my family will be as well. They’ve taken a big interest in the club too and we’ll all be hoping for good things for Hull Kingston Rovers in the future.
“I’ve had a lot of head injuries and concussions over the years and it’s probably a case of picking up one too many.
“Obviously, I’m gutted because I never expected to retire at 27 and I’ve been really enjoying my time with Rovers, so it’s come as a massive shock really.
“I’ve spoken to a lot of medical people and specialists and they’re concerned about the long-term damage I could do by playing on.
“I’ve got to think about my health after rugby and while every player just wants to get back out on the field, the time comes where you’ve got to listen to what these people are telling you.
“I’d stay like to stay involved in the sport in some way. It’s what I’ve known for so many years, I’ve got a lot of experience out on the field and probably helping the younger players coming through is what I’ll be looking at.
“I might take a bit of time off, have a holiday and take a bit of time away from the game and then come back ready to help the sport in a different way.”
Rovers head coach Chris Chester added: “We’re all devastated for Darrell, he’s a great bloke and it’s very cruel for his career to come to an end this way.
“He’s been a terrific servant to the game and he’s made a big impact during his time at the club. He’s very popular with the lads, he played a big part in creating the culture in the squad and he’s been a real professional on and off the field.
“He’ll be able to look back on his career with pride on what he has achieved both here and at Wigan, as well as with the England set-up.
“It’s never nice to see somebody in the prime of their career have to retire through injury, but Darrell’s long-term health has to come first and we wish him all the very best for the future.
“He’ll be sorely missed but he’ll be welcome back here at the KC Lightstream Stadium at any time.”