Luctonians Rugby Club hooker George Thomas announces his playing retirement

Luctonians RFC v Loughborough University. Mortimer Park, Kingsland.Paul Hulland with former Lucs player George Thomas at the end.104925-4 (3809477)

Luctonians RFC v Loughborough University. Mortimer Park, Kingsland.Paul Hulland with former Lucs player George Thomas at the end.104925-4 (3809477)

First published in Sport
Last updated
Hereford Times: Photograph of the Author by , Sports Reporter

LUCTONIANS Rugby Club hooker George Thomas is hanging up his boots at the age of 26.

Thomas was told he faced permanent damage if he continued to play.

Thomas has undergone seven major operations - including three to reconstruct a shoulder - since the age of 18.

“I have had nerve problems in my neck but it was getting worse,” said Thomas, who cut his rugby teeth playing for the Kingsland club’s colts’ team.

“I had a big problem in a game at Sheffield and I lost the feeling in my right arm.

“I went to see a consultant who told me I have nerve damage on several levels in my neck.

“It was tough to retire from playing rugby but, when you’re told that you are risk of permanent damage if you continue, it makes up your mind.

“I have given up a lot of time playing rugby for the past 10 years and it’s nice to have a break but I hope to coach the forwards in the second team at Luctonians and coach the under-14s.”

Thomas played rugby for England at under-16 and under-18 levels but he missed out the under-19 World Cup through injury.

He was full-time at Worcester Academy and broke into the Loughborough University side in 2008.

Thomas added: “Alex Davidson got me across to Birmingham and Solihull in 2009 and I played in the Championship. I got injured and the Bees had financial problems and that was that.”

He returned to play for Loughborough eventually returning to Luctonians in September 2011.

“I also had a couple of matches for London Welsh and played in the A-League with the Exiles,” recalled Thomas.

“But I got my focus back on Luctonians and I had my first proper pre-season in five years.

“It was going well but there were times when I got hit when I would lose some feeling in my body.”

Thomas, who secured a degree in construction engineering at Loughborough University, works for his family business, GP Thomas Construction.

He said: “My dad, Dave, has taken my playing retirement pretty hard – he has put a lot of faith in me and my mum is a physiotherapist and has patched me up.

“My operations have all been rugby related and between the ages of 18 and 25, I have had one operation a year.

“It is sad to be hanging up my boots but I am looking forward to coaching at the club.”

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