FORMER Bury defender Bobby Copping has announced his retirement at the age of just 19 due to a head injury.

Now with Peterborough, Copping initially sustained the injury in July 2020 and although he recovered and was named on the bench for an EFL Trophy tie at Cambridge in November, he suffered the same problem a week later.

“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 re-occurring,” said Copping, who did not make a senior appearance for the Shakers but was one of number of talented youngsters to leave the club following their expulsion from the EFL.

“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 heart-breaking to make and not just for me, but also for my family who have invested so much into my football journey. Words cannot describe how truly gutted that I am.”

Copping has accepted an offer to work at the club’s academy in a business operations role and manager Darren Ferguson said: “The most important thing for anyone is their health and Bobby has made the right decision.

“We will look after him as a club, he is going into a role within the academy and he will do well in that role, he has a good work ethic, and he has a big part to play. He is a lovely lad and it is sad when someone so young has to quit the game.”