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By Tom Stewart | 29/07/2014

Hull FC were today saddened by the news that forward Chris Tuson has taken the difficult decision to retire from the sport with immediate effect after suffering a recurrence of a back injury.

The 26-year-old joined the Black and Whites from Wigan Warriors ahead of this season, but suffered a freak spinal injury during a routine pre-season training session.

Having taken no risks with the injury, which was similar to one suffered by teammate Aaron Heremaia two years ago, he finally made his debut for the club in March against Bradford Bulls.

However, he suffered a recurrence of the injury in the recent home fixture against Warrington Wolves and, after three weeks of tests and specialist consultation, has been forced to retire to avoid causing any more significant damage.

Having addressed the players this morning at the training ground to inform them of the news, a devastated Tuson told, "I am extremely disappointed to have to finish my playing career in this way, but my health and well-being has to come first.

"I have received first class support from the medical staff here, the specialists, and of course my family. It was a very difficult decision to make, but it is the right one.

"There were discussions about playing on, but I can't be sure how the injury would react and any wrong move could make it much more serious."

The Wigan academy graduate also outlined the gratitude he felt, as he added: “Everybody at the club has been great to me. The players, coaches, staff and the fans have all been really supportive, and I'm gutted I've not had chance to repay that faith on the field.

"I would also like to thank my family who have always been there for me throughout my career and who couldn't have been more supportive and understanding of the situation over the last few weeks. They have reminded me there is much to life than just playing rugby, although right now it doesn’t feel that way.”

Tuson is now expected to take up a non-playing role at the club after impressing the coaching staff with his knowledge and application since joining Hull FC in the off-season.

The former Warriors player will now fill the first team position of Player Welfare Officer, as well as becoming Assistant Coach for the Under 19s set-up.

Head Coach Lee Radford paid tribute to Tuson’s mentality during a testing period personally, and said: “It is a very sad day for Chris and for the club as he is an influential player both on and off the field, and before the injury he was starting to show signs of exactly why we brought him to the club.”

"No player deserves their career to end in this way, but after considering all the factors and specialist opinions, it is the right call for Chris and his family. He has handled himself admirably over the last couple of weeks, despite such adversity.

Radford also expressed how eager he was for Tuson to remain involved with the club, adding: “As one door closes, another opens, and we're really looking forward to having Chris on the coaching team.

“He has a winning mentality and the young players in the Under 19s will learn a lot from him and he understands the mind-set of what it takes to progress as a professional having come through the superb academy system at Wigan.

"He will also continue to work closely with the first team on a number of off-field issues, and it will be a major boost to the players having a character like Chris around the training ground.”

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