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Man Utd keeper Paul Woolston forced to retire at 23

Manchester United goalkeeper Paul Woolston has retired from playing professional football at the age of 23.

Following significant determination to return to fitness, including two operations and a lengthy rehabilitation period, Paul has unfortunately had to end his playing career. Woolston joined United in 2018 after impressing against the club when playing for Newcastle United's Under-18s. After joining Sunderland at the age of 10, Woolston departed for the Magpies in 2015 and was the club's third-choice keeper for the 2016/17 Championship-winning season.

Representing his country up to Under-18s level, Woolston also travelled with England to the European Under-17 Championship and Under-17s World Cup. Paul has experience across the football pyramid, having enjoyed loan experiences around the north east at Gateshead, Darlington, Blyth Spartans and South Shields.

"To have to retire at just 23 has been really tough to come to terms with but I feel a lot more positive now," said Woolston.

“I am really proud of everything that I have achieved, many people dream of playing football at this level. Of course, I would have loved to have gone on further but it has been an absolute honour to represent Manchester United during my time here.

“The support of my family, friends, team-mates, coaches, the medical staff and entire Manchester United Academy has been phenomenal. Everyone has played a major part in my journey by keeping my spirits up, allowing me to reflect positively on my playing experiences and begin to look to the future.

“Right now, I am fully focused on the next stage of my career. I am ready to use all of my learnings, resilience, drive and determination to make a real success of my life."

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