Widnes forward O’Carroll forced to retire

Widnes Vikings have confirmed their forward Eamon O’Carroll has been forced to retire with immediate effect following a nerve injury.

The 30-year-old sustained the injury in Widnes’ recent defeat to Wakefield Trinity and has been advised to bringing days to an end.

O’Carroll, who represented Wigan and Hull FC during his 12-year career, played in two World Cup competitons for Ireland.

“Whilst I’m saddened that my career as a Rugby League player has had to come to an end, I’m also very grateful to have had the opportunity to live my dreams on the field,” he said.

“I’m very proud to have represented three great clubs in Wigan Warriors, Hull FC and Widnes Vikings, as well as my country too.

“I’d like to thank Waterhead Warriors ARLFC, who first introduced me to the game that I love, as well as the coaches, players, staff and supporters of every club that I have been part of. I leave the sport with some special friendships and memories, and I know that my experiences as a player have helped made me the person that I am today.

“I’m grateful to Widnes Vikings, who explored every opportunity to help me through the injury challenges that I have faced and have been of great support. I know that this is the right time for me to step away, so I can enjoy a healthy and happy future with my family. Rugby League has been my life and I plan to stay within the game; I am genuinely excited for this next chapter of my career.”

It comes as yet another blow to head coach Denis Betts, who is another body down as the Vikings look to secure their Super League status.

“It is always sad when injury ends the career of a player of Eamon’s calibre. He has always been 100% committed to the game and pushed his body to the limits for the sport. Unfortunately, he has had to recognise that it is time hang his boots up and move on to the next phase of his life.

I am pleased that Eamon wants to continue to pursue a career in Rugby League, because he loves the sport and has a lot to offer it. On behalf of Widnes Vikings, I’d like to wish him well and thank him for his contribution to the club.”