Swinton hooker Luke Waterworth has decided to step away from rugby league after admitting he lost a bit of love for the sport.
The 26-year-old came through the academy ranks at hometown club, where he made his first team debut back in 2016.
Waterworth first linked up with Swinton in 2016 on loan before making the move permanent. He has since become a stalwart for the Lions, making 133 appearances for the club, scoring 16 tries.
But after making six appearances for Swinton this season, he has made the brave decision to step away from the sport after losing a bit of love and passion for it.
Waterworth said: “I just want to say thank you to all the fans, my sponsors, the board and all the players I’ve played with and all the coaches I’ve played under during the last eight seasons.
“I have loved my time at Swinton Lions and it’s my home, but I’ve had to decide to step away from the sport.
“I wish the team all the best for the rest of the season, and I will definitely be down at Heywood Road supporting the lads.
“I’ve made memories that I will never forget, especially that Huddersfield game in the Cup! Thanks again to everyone at the club.”
Luke Waterworth departs with Swinton’s best wishes
One of Waterworth’s standout games came in 2017 when he scored Swinton’s winning try in a shock 28-24 win over Super League side Huddersfield in the Challenge Cup.
Swinton head coach Allan Coleman added: “I want to thank Luke personally as he’s been a superb servant to the club.
“He’s been a fantastic player and good friend and will be sadly missed, but we support him in his decision.
“Unfortunately, Luke has lost a bit of love for the game so it’s important we understand that and remain fully behind him.
“He’ll always be welcome at our place and should he ever want to put a jersey on again then hopefully it will be with Swinton Lions. From myself, the staff and the players, we all wish Luke all the very best for the future, and success in whichever direction he chooses to take.”
Waterworth made his final appearance for the Lions in their loss at London Broncos at the end of March.