Former Ulster player Ali Birch has announced his retirement from playing with immediate effect after suffering a number of concussions.
The 29-year-old, who also had a stint in England with Rotherham Titans, released an emotional statement last night outlining why he could no longer continue
“I have recently taken medical advice following my latest concussion and I have been instructed to retire from playing rugby,” Birch said on his Twitter account.
“I wanted the decision taken out of my hands to stop me being reckless.
Can’t mess with the head any longer. Thanks to all clubs for the opportunities, @CityOfArmaghRFC @DungannonRFC @UlsterRugby @RotherhamRugby, that’s me signing off from playing. pic.twitter.com/Bny6y0wYIz
— Ali Birch (@AliBirch7) December 10, 2017
“I have had a cracking time over the last 18-odd years. I’ve had the privilege of playing for great clubs and the folk who have supported me, played with and met me along the way have been top class.
“Won’t be walking away completely and will remain involved in the sport that’s played a massive part in my life.”