North Queensland Cowboys playmaker Te Maire Martin has announced his immediate retirement from rugby league.
The 24-year old has been sidelined since suffering a bleed on the brain in April last year.
Although he has improved significantly over the course of his recovery, the New Zealand international is still not in a position to receive clearance to return to full contact.
Martin made 62 NRL appearances for the Cowboys and Penrith Panthers, scoring 16 times. He also represented the Kiwis on four occasions, crossing three times.
Following the announcement, he said: “The last nine months have been extremely difficult.
“I’d like to reassure everyone that I’m doing well and I have recovered to the point where my day to day life isn’t affected, but I can’t get past the contact stage of training, which means I can’t play footy anymore.
“I’d like to thank the Cowboys for their unwavering support – they could not have done any more for me, particularly the medical staff – as well as the club’s members and fans for their well wishes.”
Cowboys Director of Football Peter Parr added: “We’d like to thank Te Maire for everything he’s done for the club. He’s been a wonderful contributor since he’s been here, he played in a grand final and off the field has had a significant impact on everyone at the club.
“It’s always sad when someone of his age has to retire, but there’s also positives in that he’s made significant improvements in his health.
“We’ve been given every indication he’ll be able to live a normal life and that is far more important than him playing football.
“We’re sad to see Te Maire go given he’s such a great bloke, but he’ll always be welcome at our club and we’ll never forget what he’s done for us in his time here.”