FARSLEY Celtic striker Richard Marshall has received devastating news from the specialist treating his hip condition that his playing days are over.

The 31-year-old was a key figure in the Celts’ double winning season last term as Farsley lifted the West Riding County Cup and gained promotion – to the Evo-Stik Premier Division after finishing as runners-up – after winning the play-offs.

Marshall, the former FC Halifax Town and Bradford Park Avenue forward known as Scoobie, played in 57 games last season and bagged 20 goals.

He struck from the penalty spot in the cup final against Tadcaster Albion and he also scored in the play-off final as the Celts beat Ossett Town 4-2 after extra time.

Farsley were behind in both games when Marshall struck so he could certainly produce his best when under pressure.

He said: “Once I’d had the scan and then gone back for the results the specialist gave me no options at all – he told me that I’d have to retire.

“I just can’t continue to play because it’s not an injury, from a challenge or collision, it's caused by arthritis and wear and tear. There’s no surgery they can do apart from a replacement hip which they won’t do because of my age.

“It’s the last thing I wanted to hear but I half-expected it because of how difficult moving around and just walking has been.

"I’ll miss the game badly. I’ve been out three months already and I haven’t liked not being involved.”

Marshall always planned that when his playing days were done he would spend time with his family. He wants to take a few months to take stock, evaluate and primarily digest the news.

He said: “I always said that I wouldn’t go into coaching but I know just how much I’m going to miss football.

"It’s been my life for the last 20 years and I’ve loved it. For the rest of this season I’m going to get to as many home games as I can and keep in contact with the boys, support them as much as I can and hope they get into the play-offs.

“Long term I’m not sure what will happen. The specialist has put me on a list so I’ll be getting regular checks and any treatment as and when it’s needed.

“I’ve had a great career and I’d just like to thank Dave Fell, who was there when I got released from the pro ranks. He looked after me and circulated my name and I probably wouldn’t have played for the great clubs in non-league that I have if it wasn’t for him.

“John Deacey was also a big part of my career and he’s always looked after me on and off the pitch. He’s always been there for me and always been there for advice, if I was at a club he was managing or not.

“Gaz (Celts physio Gareth Liversedge) has been great with me in my time here and he’s been a mate as well.

"He’s looked after my injuries and has told me I’ll still be welcome to go and see him for medical advice and treatment.

“I think Gaz knew that this was one that I wouldn’t get over but he didn’t want to be the one to tell me.

"He wanted me to hear it from the specialist, probably because he’s only a physio and he hoped he was wrong. I respect him for that.”