Striker forced to hang up his boots

Farsley Celtic have paid tribute to Richard Marshall after injury forced the EVO-STIK League promotion winner to announce his retirement.

Signed last summer from National League North Bradford Park Avenue, pictured, the 31-year-old striker at a number of Yorkshire clubs including Liversedge, Harrogate Railway, Harrogate Town and FC Halifax Town was forced to hang up his boots on Wednesday after failing to overcome a long-term hip injury.

A key figure in last season's promotion-winning side at Throstle Nest, 'Scooby' made 57 appearances and weighed in with an impressive 20 goals to fire Celtic up from EVO-STIK League North, including the equaliser in their play-off final victory over Ossett Town.

As well as grabbing a leveler from the penalty spot in the club's West Riding FA County Cup final triumph in May, Marshall will also be remembered fondly by fans for scoring a memorable hat-trick in Celtic's 7-0 victory over Ramsbottom United in March and a goal in their impressive 4-0 win at Tamworth in an FA Trophy Replay.

The versatile attacker failed to get back to full fitness this season despite working hard with club physio Gaz Liversedge who led the tributes to the attacker on Thursday after suffering his own injury heart-break as a player.

He said: "It's really unfortunate news regarding Scooby. A MRI scan has shown advanced arthritis in his hip and some issue with the bone so the Orthopedic consultant has confirmed he must retire. There is no surgical solution at this stage for him. It's is terrible news for someone so young to give up a sport he loves and had a lot more to give.

"From scoring the equaliser in the play-off final only seven months ago to having to retire shows you that you firstly should appreciate and love your chosen sport as it can be taken away in a instant. I have great sympathy with Scooby, as I had to retire from full time football many years ago now but can clearly remember the day I was advised to give up."

He added: "If I can help him in any way my door is always open. He will always be made welcome at Farsley whilst I continue as the club's physiotherapist."

Celtic manager Adam Lakeland said: "Scooby has had an excellent career in Non-League football and played a key part in last season's promotion winning team while scoring many goals from midfield. Having only had the pleasure of knowing and working with him since I joined the club in May, it was clear to see how popular a figure he was at the club. His appetite, enthusiasm and general love for football was evident from when I first met with him and he is a loss to our group and club overall."

He added: "On behalf of everyone at Farsley Celtic I would like to wish him all the best for the future, thank him for his service and welcome him to Throstle Nest at anytime."

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