Betfred Championship: Sheffield Eagles star Anthony Thackeray reveals reasons behind retirement
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The 35-year-old scrum half confirmed the 2022 Betfred Championship season will be his last, with no plans to move into coaching after bringing the curtain down on his 15-year playing career.
Had things been different, Hull-based Thackeray might have already hung up his boots and be focusing his efforts on the mortgage services company he runs.
"You could do that 24/7 with the amount of business we have got going through, he told The Star.
"I have got so much on with the business to do and having a young family it’s just time to sit back and do that.
"Fitness-wise I could probably go for a few more years. The reason why I didn’t go last year was because of Covid and because I had a couple of injuries and didn’t contribute.
"I want to finish on my own terms enjoying the game I love. I don’t want to go out on an injury.”
Coronavirus restrictions last year meant the season began behind closed doors with players restricted to mingling and training in groups of no more than six during pre-season – a crucial period for team bonding.
"It was really weird,” Thackeray said of that time.
"You were five or six weeks in and you didn’t know players’ names properly. It was surreal.
"The ability within that group was sensational, as you saw early on. We probably took our foot off the pedal a little bit, because we hadn’t got that closeness we weren’t fighting together.
"When something went wrong heads went down pretty quickly.”
Things are different this year, according to Sheffield’s talisman, with a team social already in the bag.
"You don’t get many rugby players that are not good blokes,” Thackeray added, “the blokes that come in are usually good, it’s just how fast you bond.
"Everyone’s getting on. You are all there for the same reason. This year has got a good feel about it, everyone is working hard and wants to do well.”