Chelsea's Gary Cahill sends heartfelt message to Ryan Mason after retirement announcement

Ian MacNicol  GettyImages

Mason was forced to retire from football on Tuesday afternoon after fracturing his skull in a challenge with Gary Cahill in January 2017.

"I can confirm that following specialist medical advice I am having to retire from playing professional football", Mason wrote in a statement, posted to his official Instagram page. Spurs fans showed him solidarity in Juventus Tottenham 2-2 in Uefa Champions League.

Pochettino even noted to Football.London that Mason has been at Tottenham's training ground recently to speak to the coaching staff, and hinted that the door was open for Mason to return to Spurs as a coach - just as Scott Parker has.

But then we travelled to the U.S. and I met him in the airport and, during 30 minutes, we shared, and I said after to Jesus "wow, I love Ryan".

He was given his big break in the first-team by Pochettino and become a regular and reliable player for Tottenham, making a total of 69 Premier League appearances, before he was signed by Hull City for £10million in 2016.

Mason won a single cap for England - against Italy in 2015 - and had been hopeful of a return to action, saying in May that he was looking forward to "returning a better player".

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Mason said: "Representing my country is an honour that nobody can ever take away from me and something that I am so proud to have achieved".

Speaking to talkSPORT's Jim White in October, Mason hailed the role Cech had played in his recovery.

The collision with Chelsea's Cahill left Mason with 14 metal plates on the right side of his skull and a scar that at one stage required 42 staples. "We wish him well and he's always welcome here".

Cahill tweeted on Tuesday: 'Devastated to hear today's news from Ryan.

"Competing for a corner is something we've done thousands of times and to see those consequences for a top professional like Ryan is heartbreaking".

"The door is open for me to help him; and the club because we love him and Rachel and George and all his family".

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