Peterborough teenager Bobby Copping opens up on ‘heartbreaking’ decision to retire aged 19 over head injury

BOBBY COPPING has spoken of his heartbreak at retiring from football at the age of 19 following a serious head injury.

The defender had only made one appearance for the club when he was hospitalised for four days after suffering the injury in July of last year.

Having made a full recovery, he returned to the Peterborough bench for a game with Cambridge in November as he looked to return to action.

However, only a week later, Copping was ruled out again with the same head injury.

Still suffering from issues on a daily basis as a result of the injury, the teenager made the tough decision to retire to preserve his long-term health.

On Thursday, Copping confirmed his move ahead of taking up a backroom role in the Posh academy.

He said: "Over the last few months, I have been doing all I can to recover whilst having conversations with a specialist who had suggested I try a medication to see if that would stop the injury from reoccurring.

"Unfortunately, this didn’t work, so that left few options open to me.

"I have had various conversations with the club and the specialist and we all came to the same conclusion that for my long-term health and to prevent further damage, retirement from football completely was the obvious decision to make and that has been backed up by the fact I still have problems on a day to day basis because of the injury.

"This decision was extremely heartbreaking to make and not just for me, but also for my family who have invested so much into my football journey.

Thank you to the fans that have supported me and made my time at the club as enjoyable as possible, I have really loved every moment since I joined in 2019.

"Words cannot describe how truly gutted that I am.

"Firstly, I would just like to thank everyone at the club, especially the staff and my teammates for all their support in such a difficult time for myself.

"They have been amazing and I wouldn’t have been able to come through this without their support. I would also like to thank my family.

"They have been my rock throughout this tough time. From the very start of my footballing career they have been there and it hurts a lot knowing we can’t continue my career any further.

"Finally, thank you to the fans that have supported me and made my time at the club as enjoyable as possible, I have really loved every moment since I joined in 2019.

"Although this is a very difficult time for myself, moving forward I’m extremely lucky and thankful to be able to stay a part of the club.

"I will be taking up a new role at the club as I now progress my career down the business side of things.

"Thank you again to everyone that has been involved with my football career from the start, I am extremely gutted but anyone that knows me knows that I will bounce back from this."

Copping joined League One Peterborough after Bury collapsed in 2019, having previously been part of Norwich's academy.

Posh owner Darragh MacAnthony paid tribute to the youngster's response to the 'horrendous setback' ahead of his move behind the scenes.

He said: "Myself and everybody at the club were bitterly disappointed for Bobby and what he has been through physically and mentally.

"He is such a lovely young man who in my mind will bounce back from this horrendous setback to have a great career in the game.

"We are delighted that he is staying with the club and excited for the next chapter in his journey which in mind will be the making of him."

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