Norfolk rugby player Finlay Barnham forced to retire at age of 24
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Norfolk-born rugby player Finlay Barnham has been forced to retire at the age of just 24, under medical advice following a prolonged spell on the sidelines recovering from concussion.
The scrum-half, originally from King's Lynn, made 83 appearances for Nottingham RFC after joining from the Leicester Tigers academy in 2010.
The former West Norfolk RFC junior player, who attended Lynn's King Edward VII School and completed a rugby scholarship at Norwich School, has spent the last six months battling with the effects of his injury.
After consultation with the Nottingham Rugby club doctor and two specialist neurologists, Barnham has heeded their advice to retire to avoid further damage.
'It is with deep regret that I am announcing my retirement from rugby,' Barnham said. 'This sport has been a huge part of my life for as long as I can remember and I consider myself very privileged to have been given the opportunity to ply my trade professionally.
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'The last six months have been very difficult personally as a result of the injury and trying to recover from the on-going concussive symptoms. After receiving the same advice from three medical professionals, it became clear that I needed to make this decision.'
The former England Under-16s player captained Nottingham seven times, most notably in leading the club to the quarter-finals of the British & Irish Cup in 2012.
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Nottingham Rugby head coach, Martin Haag, said: 'It's a sad loss for us with Fin having to retire early. It is not nice when anyone is forced into retirement and it's especially sad when you consider that Fin is only 24.
'He will be missed as he has Nottingham in his heart. Even though his career has been cut short he can be very proud of his achievements with Nottingham Rugby and he is held in high esteem.
'He has been part of the leadership group and has grown over the last few years. We wish him the very best for the future and he will always be part of this club.'