Port Vale defender Adam Yates has announced his retirement from professional football, but will stay at the club to continue his work alongside the Port Vale Foundation.
Yates was the club’s longest serving player having joined in 2009.
He was ruled out for the entirety of last season and had worked his way back to full fitness this campaign only to suffer horrific facial injuries in a reserve game.
He made 248 appearances with his final game the 4-2 Football League Trophy win over Crewe this season.
We would like to wish Adam all the best.
Statements from the official Port Vale website:
A message from Port Vale Chief Executive/Secretary, Colin Garlick:
“Compared to Adam I have only been at the Club for a relatively short period of time but in that time I have got on very well with Adam and he has been very supportive of me.
“I know just how much Port Vale means to him and his family but also how well respected Adam is with all the supporters and how much he means to them. Last season was very difficult for Adam due to his injury but as you would expect he fought his way back from that injury and was back playing this season and competing for a place.
“It is very unfortunate that Adam sustained the injuries that he did just before Christmas but again Adam faces these challenges full on and has met, what has been a major change in his life, in true Adam Yates style. The great news is that Adam will continue his long standing relationship with the Club and the supporters and we will all get to continue to work with him as he takes up his new role working in the Community.
“I am personally delighted that he will still be involved with the club albeit in a totally different role but one that is made for him and I am sure he will be successful in and I send him my sincere best wishes.”
Manager Neil Aspin said:
“It’s a sad day when any player has to retire, but based on the medical grounds and advice given, it’s a sensible choice to retire at his age with the injuries he sustained.
“Adam Yates has had the satisfaction of a relatively long career and at this stage he’s made the sensible decision to retire, and now he’s got a little bit of time to decide what he’s going to do with his future.
“From myself and everyone at the club, we wish Adam all the best with whatever he decides to do in the future, and hopefully his association with the club continue for a long time.”
Adam Yates has released the following statement:
“It is with great sadness that I can confirm my retirement from professional football due to the injury sustained at the end of November last year. The injury is both career ending and life changing, however, I wouldn’t change a single moment of my journey if given the chance.
Football has given me over 30 years of memories both good and bad that will live with me for the rest of my life, from my very first games at Milton lads n Dads, playing at Wembley, my promotions, relegations and finally the subsequent news given the severity of the injury.
I would like to thank my brothers who have lived every moment of my career with me and supported me immensely, my grandparents who endlessly ferried me to training and games as a youngster and picked me up when I was down, my partner for who lived daily with my injuries, my agent for making the right decisions and of course all the staff and players I have worked alongside and built eternal relationships with.
I’d also like to thank the Chairman, Secretary, Managers and everyone else at Port vale for the last nine and half years for playing such a massive part in my life, and in particular Doctors Peter Grimes and Matt Lancett, and physios Ben Nixon and James Rowland especially during the 18 months leading to this.
The Port Vale fans have been immense during my years and my feelings at the final whistle of the promotion seasons Northampton game and running towards them cannot be justified by words alone. They really were paramount to my personal playing success as well as the teams and are the heart and soul of our club.
Finally I have to acknowledge the two people who have had the biggest impact on my career, my Parents. They have been absolutely pivotal in the support, direction and guidance that’s enabled me to live every boy’s dream of playing professional football for 18 years. I am eternally grateful and without them I couldn’t have achieved this. Thank you.
I would like to thank the club for the offer of a testimonial which will be announced in due course. I am now looking forward to a new chapter in my life having been given the opportunity by the Port Vale Foundation and Synectics solutions Ltd to drive the Clubs community initiatives and use the experiences during my career to create a new path. With the continued help of the PFA I can help use my unfortunate incident to educate fellow players on planning for life after football which is an aspect we as players don’t quite envisage.