HOWARD FORCED TO RETIRE

Former Leeds prop forward Harvey Howard today called time on his playing days and announced his retirement from rugby league.

Prop forward Harvey Howard today called time on his playing days and announced his retirement from rugby league. Howard has been forced to stop playing because of an injury he sustained in a car crash on the way to training at Craven Park last August. The 34-year-old former Wigan star had hoped to resume playing and see out the remaining year of his deal with the National League One outfit. However, despite obeying medical advice and restraining from any physical activity for a month, he has finally called time on his career after suffering a recurrence of the problem in training. Howard commented: "I've had a month of complete rest and have recently done some light work, but as soon I tried light contact work the pins and needles in my arm and the pain in my arm and neck got worse. "As a result of further talks with physio Keith Warner it looks as if I shall need an operation. I took a gamble to try and get back but it has not worked out." The prop has talked the matter over with the club's board of directors after realising they could not continue paying him while he was not playing. He thanked them for their support and said: "Obviously I'm disappointed, but it looks as if I will need some sort of operation. There is also no guarantee things would be good enough to play after it. "The board have been appreciative of my efforts but understand my reasons. I also realise they could not keep me on indefinitely, not knowing what the outcome would be." Director of rugby Phil Lowe said: "We are very sorry for Harvey, but his medical team have advised him that he probably needs an operation, so he's going to retire. "There have been no problems whatsoever between us. He has thanked us for the way things have been but has decided enough is enough."