BARNSLEY: Oakwell sadness as injuries force defender Luke into retirement

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BARNSLEY defender Luke Potter has retired from professional football because of long-term injury problems.

The versatile left-back and centre-back has been working hard to recover from a series of medial knee ligament operations.

But despite his best efforts the former Academy scholar, who joined the club when he was 12 and went to make 21 first-team appearances, unfortunately felt the time was right to hang up his boots.

“It’s not what I wanted to do, but you have to make a decision at some time,” admitted Potter. “I’m afraid this [retirement] is what it’s come to.”

Reds director Don Rowing said: “The club has a lost a good player. One has to feel for Luke because a promising young career has been cut short by injury.”

Meanwhile, Andy Gray would love to earn himself a new Barnsley contract, but first and foremost the experienced striker is firmly focused on helping the club retain their Championship status.

The ex-Sheffield United and Leeds hitman has played long enough to know anything can happen at the end of the season with teams battling hard for survival.

But the Reds have a nine-point cushion over third-from-bottom Bristol City with six games to play.

And Gray, whose contact expires in the summer, believes another win will go a long way to preventing the club slipping any further down the table than their current 18th position.

“I’m starting to speak to the manager [about a new contract],” Gray told The Star. “I’d like to stay and he’s said he’d like to keep me.”

The Reds lost away to Ipswich Town last Saturday and now face two games in four days over the Easter break.