Former England Under-21 striker Marvin Sordell has retired from professional football aged 28. Sordell cited his mental wellbeing as a big factor behind his decision to retire.
The 28-year-old striker is keen to help others who are struggling with mental health problems after Burton Albion agreed to terminate his contract.
Premier League and the Olympics
Sordell admitted he'd lived his dream after scoring 69 goals in 320 games, playing in the Premier League and representing Great Britain at the 2012 Olympic Games.
In the same statement he posted on Twitter however, he revealed he has experienced an 'ugly side of the game' including racism and bullying.
In his statement he said:
"The 6-year-old me would never even have dreamed of what the 28-year-old me has achieved in this game.
"I managed to experience some of the greatest highs on offer: playing for England, for Team GB in the Olympics and in the biggest league in the world, in the form of the Premier League.
"In over 300 matches, for the nine clubs and three national teams I played for, I scored goals that I dreamed about as a young boy in the park.
"I'll be honest though, the ugly side of the game that many of us are exposed to, has had a hugely detrimental effect on my mental health. I witnessed, and was on the receiving end of racism on several occasions and have seen an incredible amount of bullying, manipulation and verbal abuse to an extent which for many leaves a dirt stain on this industry.
"The combination of these aspects, allow me to move on from being a professional football player, knowing that I will be a happier man, and also be able to love the game again, in a way that I haven't for many years."
Began at Watford
Sordell started his career at Watford before playing for Bolton Wanderers and Burnley in the Premier League. He joined Burton from Coventry City in 2017 and spent the second half of last season on loan at Northampton Town.
Speaking to the club's official website, Burton manager Nigel Clough said:
"We want to thank Marvin for the contribution he has made during his time at Burton Albion.
"We totally understand his decision and he leaves with the very best wishes of everyone at the club.
"We are sure Marvin has a massive amount to contribute to helping people with their mental wellbeing and we look forward to seeing all that he achieves in the future."