THE Rebels were saddened to announce the retirement of wide midfielder Harrison Gilkes this week.

Gilkes, 24, has a degenerative hip condition which was discovered early on in his playing career.

It has increasingly affected him in recent years and, following a knee injury and the amount of work he has had to put in just to try to get back playing, it has put a huge strain on him.

Having discussed the matter at length with his surgeon, Gilkes has made the extremely tough decision to retire from competitive football.

Slough Town joint-manager Jon Underwood told the Observer: “It’s really sad. Harrison has been with us for a few years but has had no luck with injuries.

“He had worked ever so hard to get back to where we thought he was going to be a contender for the squad this season.

“This hip problem has always been there but, unfortunately the harder he has worked the more he has felt it, and it’s desperately sad.

“Harrison is 24 years-old and loves his football. He has a great attitude and is a lovely lad to have around the place.

“It’s disappointing for us and we feel very sorry for him.

“We will have to see what he’s able to do going down the coaching root and obviously we will support him in whatever he wants to do.

“I’m sure he wants a little bit of a break to get away from it at the moment because it must be tough to take at his age, so very sad.”

The injury Gilkes suffered at Fleet Town in July 2016 was a tough one for him and the club to take, but Slough Town have stood by him in his bid to get back playing.

The Rebels will welcome Gilkes back and wish him the best in the next stage of his career in the sport.

Grab a copy of the Observer today for all the latest sports news and action.