Doncaster RLFC: Shaun Leaf forced to retire

Shaun Leaf
Shaun Leaf
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Dons veteran Shaun Leaf has been forced to retire from rugby league.

Doctors advised the utility man to hang up his boots following a succession of head injuries.

Leaf, who made over 150 appearances for the Dons, wore the blue and gold for the last time in Sunday’s defeat to Whitehaven.

“I’m devastated,” Leaf told Dons’ official website.

“I was hoping I would be able to get through to the end of the season and make a decision from there, but that as now been taken out of my hands.

“It was really tough to take on Sunday and I was upset after the match when the doctor advised that I should stop playing and it was not a light decision to take.

“Recently though there have been fatalities in Australia and New Zealand due to head injuries and I have a young family.

“My family and young daughter must come first and when you look at it that way, it really puts things into perspective.”

He added: “I’m going to massively miss all of the lads and everyone at the club, I hope I can come back to Doncaster in some capacity away from playing in the future.

“I’d like to thank all of the fans for their support throughout the years since I first joined.”

Leaf joined the Dons as an 18-year-old from Hull Kingston Rovers.

He rejoined Doncaster in 2013 after serving an 18-month ban for infringing RFL betting rules.

“I made some special bonds with the supporters and it has been great to be able to get to know them personally, speaking to them after matches,” said Leaf.

“I’d also like to thank them for their support during what was a bad period for me through 2011, without them I wouldn’t have got back to playing at this level again.

“We have had some highs and lows over the years but I am sure the club will turn things around and get back on track.

“I urge everyone to keep the faith, we have been in worse situations than this previously, but we can bounce back, we all need to rally as one and get that positivity back at the Keepmoat Stadium.”