14 June 2012, 7:53pm
Bath Rugby prop David Flatman has been forced to retire from the game through injury with immediate effect.
A true example of a professional sportsman in rugby, Flatman arrived at the Rec in 2003, going on to make 161 appearances for the Club and becoming a cornerstone of the Bath pack in that time.
The destructive loosehead also won eight caps for England, making his debut against South Africa in 2000. His last tour with the national side came in the summer of 2010, following an impressive 2009/10 domestic season.
Flatman's experience will not be lost, however, as he intends to stay on and work within the business side of the Club.
Speaking of the news, Flatman said, "It's been a difficult decision to make, but you have to listen to medical experts when they tell you it's time to stop. Naturally, it's tough coming to terms with this, but the Club have been fantastic in their support. I have truly loved my time as a Bath player, and would like to thank all the players, coaches, staff and supporters who have made it so enjoyable. I've forged memories and friendships that will last a lifetime, and feel incredibly proud to have worn the jersey. I'm looking forward to staying with Bath in what I have no doubt will be a challenging but exciting new role."
Chief Executive, Nick Blofeld, added: "Flats has been a great character and member of the Bath squad for the past nine years, not only with his playing skills, but also in his professional attitude and experience helping to bring on the younger players. We are very pleased he's agreed to stay on with the Club in a new capacity, and hopefully that experience can now be used in a different way."