Stuart Dallas announces retirement due to injury: A look back at his career

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Image source, Getty Images

Image caption,

The last of Dallas’ 62 caps for Northern Ireland game in a 1-0 defeat to Hungary at Windsor Park in March 2022

Leeds and Northern Ireland midfielder Stuart Dallas has announced his retirement from football after two years out with injury.

Dallas hasn’t played since suffering a knee injury in the Premier League against Manchester City in April 2022.

“I must now accept the fact my knee suffered irreparable damage and I will not be returning to play professional football,” said Dallas, 32.

A Leeds statement described Dallas as “an icon” of the club.

After playing for Northern Ireland clubs Coagh United and Crusaders, Dallas joined Brentford in 2012 before an August 2015 move to Leeds where he went on to make 266 appearances, which included scoring 28 goals.

Dallas made his Northern Ireland debut in 2011 and his 62 Northern Ireland caps, which included three international goals, were highlighted by playing for his country at Euro 2016, where they reached the knockout stage.

“Over the past two years, the Leeds United medical team, along with the incredible surgeons in London, have worked tirelessly to help me recover from the injury I sustained in the game against Manchester City in 2022,” continued the Northern Irishman, adding that he was “devastated” to have to end his career.

“As a young boy growing up in Cookstown, Northern Ireland, all I ever wanted was to play professional football and I will be eternally grateful that for me, that dream came true.

“This may not be how fairytales are supposed to end, but I must now deal with the fact that this chapter of my life is drawing to a close.”

Image source, Getty Images

Image caption,

Stuart Dallas’ eight Premier League goals in the 2020-21 campaign included scoring twice in the win over Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium

A Leeds statement said Dallas had reminded “a key person behind the scenes” despite not featuring for Daniel Farke’s side in recent times because of his femoral fracture.

“Naturally, there is great sadness from everyone within the club about this news, but we all wish Stuart the very best in his retirement,” said a Leeds statement.

“It goes without saying, Stuart is an icon of Leeds United and will always be welcome at Elland Road, his contribution will live long in the memory and he has cemented his place in history.”

Leeds added that they are in discussions with Dallas “about a future role, to continue his association with the club”.

His Leeds career included helping the club return to the English top flight for the first time in 16 years when they clinched the Championship title in 2019-20.

Dallas played in every Leeds Premier League game the following season, with his eight goals in the campaign including a double which enabled them to beat defending then champions Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.

Leeds fans will have an immediate opportunity to thank Dallas for his service to the club when he and his family come on to the pitch at half-time in Saturday’s Championship game against Blackburn Rovers.

2024-04-10 12:00:14
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