Ex-Stoke defender forced to retire due to concussion symptoms

Andy Wilkinson is a graduate of the academy and starred in the Tony Pulis era

Andy Wilkinson, Stoke,

Andy Wilkinson (Picture by: Dave Howarth / EMPICS Sport)

Former Stoke defender Andy Wilkinson has been forced to retire due to ongoing symptons of concussion.

He has not fully recovered from being hit on the temple by the ball at close range in an FA Cup tie against Blackburn a year ago.

The 31-year-old is a graduate of the Stoke City academy and went on to make almost 200 appearances for the club, having made his debut in 2001.

In an interview with The Times last year, he revealed the damage that had been done.

"It affects my peripheral vision and it gets worse when I train, when I get my heart-rate up. Everything is blurred," he had said.

"I have seen a raft of specialists and they have said the only thing that will heals it is time. We are hoping it all returns to normal, but it is a frustrating anxious wait, and that all I can do. Wait."