Leeds United star Stuart Dallas 'forever grateful' to Brentford as he retires following horror injury

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Former Brentford player Stuart Dallas has not played since April 2022 since fracturing his femur during Leeds United v Manchester City

Stuart Dallas has said he will be forever grateful to Brentford for giving him his opportunity in English football after he announced his retirement on Wednesday afternoon. The Northern Irishman has not played since April 2022 since fracturing his femur in a clash with Manchester City at Elland Road.

The Leeds United star returned to training earlier this season and had hoped to play again but has now admitted his knee has sustained ‘irreparable’ damage that will not allow him to continue his professional career.

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Dallas, who has been capped 62 times by his country, started his career with local side Coagh United before moving to Northern Irish Premiership side Crusaders. He signed for Brentford in July 2012, and went on to make 75 appearances for the Bees with nine goals and four assists. He joined Leeds in 2015, making 267 for the Whites and starring for the West Yorkshire club as they were promoted to the Premier League in 2020 after a 16-year absence.

Penning an open letter, Dallas wrote: "Today, with a heavy heart, I announce that I will be retiring from professional football. 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. Sadly, despite their best efforts, and my body not progressing how we need it to, I must now accept the fact that my knee suffered irreparable damage and I will not be returning to play professional football. I am of course devastated by this news.

“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. I am incredibly grateful to so many people who have helped me over the years, not only to make the most of my career, but who enabled me to do so with a smile on my face. My particular thanks must first and foremost go to my amazing wife Junéve, whose unwavering support has been ever present since the first day we met. We have three beautiful kids, who we have created so many memories with and I will be forever grateful. To my family and close friends who I’ve spent so much time discussing this with, you’ve lived and breathed every high and low with me. Thank you.

“To all my previous managers and coaches at my present and former clubs, thank you for being part of the journey. When I moved from Northern Ireland to England I couldn’t have asked for a better club to go to in Brentford, and I’ll be forever grateful to them."

Dallas is out of contract with Leeds at the end of the season but the Championship side has confirmed they are in talks with the player about a future role with the club.

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