SALFORD skipper Lee Mossop has retired on medical advice with immediate effect.
The former England prop, 32, has had a series of shoulder problems, undergoing eleven operations during a career which started at Wigan and took in a stint at Parramatta Eels in 2014.
The news follows Salford’s announcement that they have signed Brisbane Broncos halfback Brodie Croft on a two-year deal to start next season.
Cumbrian Mossop, who played his junior rugby for Hensingham before joining the Wigan development system, signed for Salford in 2017 and played a key role as the Red Devils reached the 2019 Grand Final and 2020 Challenge Cup final.
He was a Challenge Cup winner with Wigan in 2011, returning to the Wembley pitch after dislocating a shoulder to help his side beat Leeds 28-18 in the final, and in 2013, was a regular as the Warriors claimed a Super League title and Challenge Cup double.
Another shoulder injury limited him to three appearances for Parramatta, and he returned to Wigan in 2015, featuring in the Grand Final defeat by Leeds that year.
Mossop, who featured for England Knights before earning four full caps, including an outing against Australia during the 2013 World Cup, has made 79 appearances for Salford.
One of his seven tries for the club came during the 28-4 play-off final eliminator win at Wigan which put them into the 2019 Grand Final.
“It’s been no secret that I have struggled with shoulder issues the majority of my career, but after seeing the surgeon last week, he told me there are no more surgeries he can offer to help prolong my career anymore,” explained Mossop.
“Instead, it will be one final operation to give me a better quality of life with my wife and young children.
“I joined this club in 2017, planning on only being here one year as I thought I’d be forced to retire then, but with a lot of hard work from the coaches and physio staff, I’ve managed to represent this club for almost five seasons and been lucky enough to make some unbelievable memories for a club I now love.”
Salford coach Richard Marshall said: “What a fantastic career Lee leaves behind.
“Any good leader or captain’s purpose is to leave the shirt, club and environment in a better place. ‘Moose’ ticks all those boxes.”