Injury forces former Bristol City, West Ham, Brighton, Derby, and MK Dons star into retirement

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The 34-year-old had a career mainly spent in the Championship and League One - but that has all come to an end today.

Former Bristol City striker Sam Baldock has confirmed that he is retiring from professional football following a 17-year playing career.

The 34-year-old has called time and hung up his boots, having ended his career through injury. Baldock was plagued by injuries last season and played his last game of professional football at Bristol Rovers.

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He was forced off with an injury after just 20 minutes back in February 2023,in what was just his fourth game of the season and now after some consideration he has decided to call it a day.

Revealing his decision for retirement, he said: "I've just got to the stage now where it's just I can't keep putting people through it. It's not fair on my family, it's not fair on the club, it's not fair on the fans, the players, and it's not fair on me. So that's why I felt the time was right to stop playing."

Baldock will remain in football and at the Kassam Stadium, he has been given the role as Business Development Analyst. It's a role that came through the recommendation of Liam Manning, which will work with several departments at the U's, and assisting with both coaching and recruitment.

Asked how he's enjoying time away from the pitch, he said: "I'm enjoying it when everything I've ever done really on a football pitch has led to the weekend and the consequences of the results. I've played games, I've come home, I've beat myself up about performances or results and then constantly just thought about the next one.

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"I'm enjoying not having that pressure and those thoughts ongoing throughout the week and yeah, it's just i feel like I'm ready now and I'm excited to see what the future holds.

"I have aspirations long, long-term to be involved at a senior level within football. I'm doing a Masters to be a sporting director alongside my job here and I'm really grateful to the guys at the club for producing this role for me, and I look forward to exploring it."

During his career he played for seven clubs, beginning at MK Dons where he scored 43 goals in 124 games, helping them win the League Two title in 2008. West Ham saw his obvious goal scoring ability and bought him in 2011, as he scored five goals in 24 games to help them win promotion to the Premier League, though he was not kept on.

It was the summer of 2012 that Baldock arrived at Ashton Gate for a reported £500,000, and despite their relegation from the Championship he had a respectable scoring spell at the club, with 36 goals in 92 games.

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Baldock after a 24-goal haul with the Robins moved to Brighton, earning a £1.5m profit, and after a spell with the Seagulls he later joined Reading, Derby County and then finished his career with Oxford.

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