Just a day after the Sentinel reported there were talks underway to see Andy Wilkinson rewarded with a testimonial, the Stoke City defender announced his retirement from football due to concussion.
It's a year to the week since the 31-year-old last appeared for his boyhood club, for whom he first appeared in 2001, but a head injury curtailed not only his afternoon but his season too, with blurred vision and vertigo forcing him to visit a specialist in Toronto.
Despite his contract coming to end last summer, Wilkinson, who played just shy of 200 games for Stoke, was kept on by the Potters on reduced terms - having helped the club to two promotions, an FA Cup final and even played for them in Europe.
Such was his impact at the Britannia Stadium, the Twitter tributes poured in for Wilkinson within minutes of his announcement. Here are the best of them so far:
@wilkinson_28 you are a true hero Stoke City. Always played your heart out. Andy wilkinson from Stoke on Trent. All the best— Laura-Jane (@laur_x_) February 19, 2016
Sad to hear that Andy Wilkinson has been forced to retire. A top guy with a great story about making it for your local team. #scfc— Ben Mouncer (@benmouncer) February 19, 2016
Sad to see Andy Wilkinson hanging up his boots, you'd have still made him fav in a 30-70 challenge. Lost a few quid on him scoring mind..— Steve Freeth (@stevefreeth) February 19, 2016
Andy Wilkinson #28— DUCK MAGAZINE (@DUCKmagstoke) February 19, 2016
A local lad who lived the dream. 100% every single game & sweated blood for us.
What this club of ours is built upon.
Terrible news about Andy Wilkinson, hope he makes a speedy recovery and gets all the help he deserves.— James Marshall (@jamesmarshall_) February 19, 2016
All the best to Andy Wilkinson, sad to see anyone forced to retire.— Lee Robson (@TheLeeRobson) February 19, 2016
Gutting to hear Andy Wilkinson has had to retire, at just 31. A great player whose part in @stokecity rise should be remembered— Nathan Spafford (@Spafford95) February 19, 2016
Well sad that Andy Wilkinson has to retire— Hypodermic Sally (@chloe_newton98) February 19, 2016