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WOLVERHAMPTON: Wolver­h­ampton Wanderers and Nigeria goalkeeper Carl Ikeme retired on Friday, a month after revealing he was in complete remission from acute leukemia.

Ikeme spent the past year fighting the disease, and decided to heed medical advice that the toll of recovering was too much on his body before trying to play again. The last of his more than 200 appearances for Wolves was in March 2017.

“I spoke with the doctor and he suggested I should retire, because of the toll the treatment has taken on my body,” Ikeme told the club website.

“He thinks it’s what is best for me and I can’t really risk trying to come back, my health is the priority. I want to be here for my children, family and friends.

“It’s difficult when you look back at what you’ve gone through in your football career, but in the grand scheme of things with my life in danger, it’s the minimum price I have to pay to spend the rest of my time with my family.”

The 32-year-old Ikeme joined the club at 14, and while he missed Wolves’ promotion to the English Premier League last season, he was involved in previous promotions in 2003 and 2009.

He earned 10 caps for Nigeria, which for the recent World Cup named him as its honorary 24th team member.

Wolves executive chairman Jeff Shi said: “Having been at the club since the age of 14, Carl is far more than just a player in our eyes — he is our brother and an important part of our family.

“When Carl came to tell us his news, yes there was sadness, but also great happiness to see him so healthy and hungry for the opportunities that lay ahead of him.”

Published in Dawn, July 28th, 2018