Former Falmouth Community School pupil Jamie Day has said he will look to get into coaching after a back injury ended is professional football career this week.
Jamie was one of a few Cornish players to have played in the Football League having represented Peterborough United from 2003 to 2010. During his time at the club he helped them achieve back-to-back promotions from League Two to the Championship.
Jamie also represented England at C Level in the International Challenge Trophy in February 2011.
However, having signed for Crawley Town last summer, Jamie jumped to head a ball in the third day of pre-season and landed awkwardly.
It aggravated a previous back injury and forced him onto the
sidelines for the whole of the 2011-12 campaign.
And despite two operations on his back, Jamie is still suffering pain in his neck and has been advised to retire.
“I’ve been told now that there isn’t a lot they can do for me,” said Jamie.
“I’m not going to be able to get the fitness back to play at the level I want to. I have been told to retire and concentrate on getting my health back, which has made me pretty sad to be honest. I’m still struggling with everyday life. I can’t sit down for too long without it hurting.”
However, despite his plight, Jamie is upbeat about the future.
The footballer says he is determined to get his health back and has already spoken to Peterborough about becoming a coach there.
“I joined Peterborough at the age of 14 and was there until I was 24, so they said it was a no-brainer for them to have me on board, with the experience I have,” said Jamie.
“I hope I can use that experience, of what it takes to make it in as a professional, and pass that onto the younger players.”
Jamie, who has already got his level one and two coaching badges, also praised the Professional Footballers’ Association for the help the organisation has given him, since he got the bad news about his injury.
The player added that he would look back fondly on his football career, despite it ending at such a young age.
“I'm not going to lie, I wanted to play until I was 34, 35-years-old,” he said. “But I have had an excellent time playing football and I have some great memories. I wouldn’t change that for the world.
“The England C call up was obviously a highlight, as well as getting promoted with Peterborough in two successive seasons. Also as a youngster getting trials at West Ham and Manchester United was a highlight.”
Jamie thanked his family for the support they have given him through the years. His parents Roger and Yvonne still live in Falmouth, his brother Martin Day plays football for Hayle and his other brother Stephen is a paramedic.
The 26-year-old also thanked partner Chloe, with whom he has a two-year-old son Josh, and his friends from Falmouth, who he knows have followed and supported his career closely.