Wolves keeper Carl Ikeme retires a month after revealing remission from leukaemia

Pic: Mike Egerton/PA Wire

Wolves goalkeeper Carl Ikeme has announced his retirement, a month after revealing he is in complete remission from acute leukaemia.

The 32-year-old had spent the previous 12 months battling the disease, playing his last match in a victory over Fulham in March 2017.

Ikeme made more than 200 appearances for Wolves, the club he joined as a 14-year-old, winning two promotions, and also spent spells on loan at Accrington, Stockport, Charlton, Sheffield United, QPR, Leicester, Middlesbrough and Doncaster.

Ikeme said on Wolves TV: "After speaking to the doctor, he suggested I should retire; just the treatment, the toll it's taken on my body. I can't risk trying to come back.

"My health's the main thing and I just want to be here for my children and family and friends. It's difficult when you look back at what you've gone through in your football career, but in the grand scheme of things, with your life in danger, it's a minimum price I have to pay."

Born in Sutton Coldfield of Nigerian heritage, Ikeme won 10 caps for the Super Eagles, who honoured him at this summer's World Cup by naming him as their 24th squad member.

Wolves executive chairman Jeff Shi said on wolves.co.uk: "Having been at the club since the age of 14, Carl is far more than just a player in our eyes - he is our brother and an important part of our family.

"When Carl came to tell us his news, yes there was sadness, but also great happiness to see him so healthy and hungry for the opportunities that lay ahead of him.

"Carl is strong, a fighter, something he has proven in his playing career and also during what has been a very challenging time for him, so I have no doubt he will be a success in whatever he does next.

"We wish Carl all the very best for the future, but remind him he will always remain a part of the Wolves family."

Ikeme is not yet sure what his next steps will be, but has already been offered a role at Molineux if he wants it.

He said: "I don't even know (what's next) to be honest. I think a holiday. I spoke to the club and they're happy to facilitate whatever I want to do, if I want to come and be part of the club in a staff way they're happy for that. Maybe do a bit of media work or maybe just be a fan.

"Maybe in the near future just come to games and catch up with people. But definitely something to do with Wolves or in and around Wolverhampton because this has been my club and my adopted city."

PA & Digital Desk

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