Retirement tough to take for Baker

Tom Baker
Tom Baker
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Tom Baker admits he feels cheated after having to call time on his illustrious career due to a chronic knee injury.

Baker, 29, retired from football 10 days ago after having an in-depth conversation with his surgeon.

The combative Chorley midfielder has been on the sidelines for the past 17 months.

Two operations haven’t solved his knee problems and it was the word from the surgeon that a third may not work that lead to Baker drawing the curtains on his career.

“I had a chat with my surgeon and he said I could have micro fracture surgery but it wasn’t a guarantee that it would work,” said Baker.

“He said it wasn’t a great operation and I should really consider my career.

“It’s not been easy and it has been one of the hardest decisions of my life but I guess it wasn’t totally my decision.

“When you have somebody with so much experience telling you that you have to stop, you really do have to listen.”

Father-of-two Baker started his career as a professional at Barnsley.

After leaving Oakwell, he had spells with Gainsborough Trinity, Altrincham, Scarborough, Bradford Park Avenue, FC Halifax Town , Droylsden, Ashton United and finally Chorley.

The dead-ball specialist became an instant hit at the Chorley Group Victory Park stadium after signing with the club in March 2013.

His time with the Magpies saw him win a fourth Evo-Stik Premier Division title of his career.

But while his playing career may be over, the Chorley fans certainly haven’t seen the last of him.

“I definitely want to get down to a few games this season,” he said.

“The club have been great for me, the fans, directors and management everybody has been really supportive.

“It’s nice to read the things what people say about you, the support has been unbelievable. Chorley is a fantastic club and I still think they’ll continue to progress.”

Calling it quits at 29 is young for any footballer and Baker feels he certainly could have continued had it not been for his troublesome knee.

“I’ve never thought to myself I could go on and play into my late 30s,” he said.

“But I’ve always thought I could play into my early 30s.

“I’m 29 now and I have been out injured since I was 27.

“So in hindsight, I guess I have been cut short at least four or five years of my career.

“But I can’t dwell on it, the club have been excellent and it’s time to move on.”