HALIFAX hooker Keal Carlile, who made his senior debut with Bradford Bulls, has announced his retirement from rugby league with immediate effect on medical grounds.

In a statement from his club on social media, the 29-year-old describes his pride at playing almost 200 games in the professional game but how his heart condition - which saw him have open heart surgery in 2011 - has forced him to bring the curtain down on his career.

Former England academy player Carlile came through the Bulls youth system at the same time as current captain Steve Crossley and NRL star Elliott Whitehead.

He made his Super League debut for Bradford in a televised clash at St Helens in 2008. It was his only first-team appearance before moving to Huddersfield Giants that year.

"Not the news I've been wanting to hear but I knew something wasn't right," Carlile's statement began.

"I've been told by my cardiologist that I need to retire immediately.

"Without going into too much detail, my aorta valve has now narrowed, resulting in my body and heart not being able to cope with the impact and intensity of rugby league.

"It's come as a massive shock to me and my family but it's a decision that, when told by a specialist, I need to listen to and do what's right for my health and my family going forward in life."

Carlile, who joined Halifax ahead of this season from Newcastle Thunder, has also had spells with Hull KR, Sheffield and Featherstone.

His statement continued: "On the bright side, I am proud to have played just short of 200 professional games, the majority of those coming after open heart surgery in 2011, which not many - if any - other player playing contact sport has ever done.

"I would like to thank all the clubs I've played for, from the backroom staff, board, all my coaches and especially all my team mates - I've met friends for life since turning pro when I was 16.

"I would also like to thank my agent Martin Shuttleworth for looking after me my whole career.

"Finally, and most importantly, I want to thank my family for all their support and especially my beautiful wife and kids who have been there through the highs and lows and each season copping for the mood swings after a loss and the general week to week rollercoaster of rugby league. Love you all.

"It's all we've ever known as a family so me no longer playing it going to be weird for us all but I look forward to the next chapter and life after rugby."