Bulls: Skipper Matt Diskin to retire at end of season

Bradford Bulls captain Matt Diskin has announced he will retire at the end of the season.

The 32-year-old former Great Britain and England international has made 364 appearances for club, county and country, in a career spanning 14 years.

Dewsbury-born hooker Diskin turned professional at Leeds Rhinos, making his first-team debut in 2001, and went on to win four Super League titles with the Headingley club.

He was named man of the match in the 2004 Grand Final, claiming the Harry Sunderland Trophy as the Rhinos overcame Bradford at Old Trafford, and was crowned a World Club Challenge winner in 2008.

Diskin has made a total of 86 appearances for the Bulls, having arrived at the Provident Stadium in 2010, and has skippered the side for the past three seasons.

His representative honours include three Yorkshire, three England and seven England A caps, in addition to a solitary Great Britain appearance.

“I have enjoyed a wonderful career, one which I would have happily completed for free,” said Diskin.

“I am extremely proud of what I have achieved in the game and, not being the most naturally-gifted player, I have done this through sheer hard work and determination.

“There have been plenty of ups and downs but I live with no regrets. Hindsight is wonderful but I would not have changed a thing.

“In my head, I would like to think I could play for another 10 or 20 years but my body is no longer allowing me to do the things I want it to do.

“Having said that, this is not a decision I have taken lightly. Since the age of eight, all I have ever known is Rugby League. It is still very hard to take but the things I have had to administer into my body this year, in order to keep going to this point, is far from healthy.

“I have made this call in order to ensure my longevity as a father, a husband and a person.

“I have been very blessed to have made it this far. I have loved every second of my 14-year career and have been very lucky to have played in some great teams, alongside some exceptional coaches and players.

“I loved my time with Leeds and feel honoured to have captained a brilliant club in Bradford, as well as representing my county and country.

“I will treasure the memories I have made and the people I have met, played with and against. I could not have wished for much more.”

Bulls coach James Lowes added: “Matt has had a fantastic career and is a great person to work with,” added Lowes.

“I cannot thank him enough for what he has offered both myself and the team since I arrived here.

“Matt can look back on a great deal of success, achieved at the top level of the sport, and he can retire knowing he has reached great heights, claiming some huge honours along the way.”