Whitehaven Rugby League can this evening announce the retirement of club captain Marc Shackley with a knee injury. Shackley who started his career at the club before a spell with Workington Town played his last match vs York City Knights at the LNER Community Stadium on 22nd August as Haven tasted a 30-12 defeat.
Shackley has been in and out of Gary Charlton's squad through the knee injury and it was decided after the York fixture that Shackley should take some time away and look to get an operation. But conversations with the club's medical staff and specialists means Shackley has taken the difficult decision to retire effective immediately. Shacks has been club captain since his return to the club back in 2017 and led the club to the League 1 Play-off final which saw us defeated by Barrow Raiders. He lifted the League 1 trophy as captain following our 72-0 victory over Coventry Bears in 2019 and has continued to lead from the front when on the field over the past two seasons in the Championship.
Speaking about the decision Shackley said "I tried to battle on but after the York game it became apparent that the Knee was a major issue and after speaking to the club doctor and specialists while I could have the surgery and rehab means I may able to continue playing there is no guarantee I could get back and for myself I have to think about my family. I have had numerous surgeries on my knees previously which have allowed me to continue playing but the time has come although earlier expected to step away from Rugby League. I would like to thank all the people who have been involved with Whitehven Rugby League since my return to the club, firstly Carl Forster for bringing me back to the Recre, the board of directors, Des Byrne has been fantastic for me and the squad since my return to the club. Gary and Jonty have been amazing since they came into the club and I've been honoured to get this club back to where it belongs in the last three seasons. To the fans thank you for your support over my two spells with the club. You have been amazing home and away and your support means so much to not only me but to the rest of the squad and the coaching staff. Thank you! Finally I would like to say a massive thank you to my family for their continuous support in my long career at both Whitehaven & Workington."
Departing head coach Gary Charlton spoke highly of Shackley saying "It's so sad to see his career end like this but we understand. He said after the York game he was struggling, it’s so sad to see a model professional go out of the game like this, Marc was a cornerstone of every pack he played in, he led from the front and was always a leader with his actions and had that follow me attitude. He was a great captain at this club and deserves all the accolades that came his way winning multiple trophies in 2019. But sometimes you have to take advice from the medical professionals against what you want to do but it’s in his best interest. I hold Marc in the highest regard as a player but equally as a good friend."