Manny Smith has told Wrexham fans not to feel sorry for him after injury forced him to hang up his playing boots as he’s looking forward to life after football.
The defender – who announced his retirement in The Non-League Paper on Sunday after an 18-month spell blighted by injury – made 143 National League appearances for the Dragons over two stays at the Racecourse.
“There is no need to be sorry or anything, it’s the start of a whole new chapter for me,” Smith told the Sunday’s NLP after making only a handful of appearances since injuring his knee in 2018 against Solihull Moors
“I would like to thank the fans and everyone at Wrexham AFC for supporting me throughout my time at the club. As with anything, it’s had its ups and downs, but luckily for me there’s been far more ups than downs.”
The 31-year-old, pictured celebrating after scoring for the Dragons, is certain he’s made the right decision and even joked that club bosses might want to consider a permanent tribute to him.
He added: “I had five operations in a five-month period, but after all of that I know I have made the right decision all round, for the club, my family and for myself.
“I hope the fans will continue to believe in the club. I know we are struggling at the moment but the lads and Dean Keates are doing everything they can to turn this around. Hopefully the club will retire the number 4 shirt!”
The popular defender played every minute of Wrexham’s 61 games during his first season in north Wales before moving to Gateshead in 2016.
Smith returned the following summer and made 46 appearances in 2017-18 as Wrexham achieved the best defensive record in the club’s history.
Make sure you get your copy of The Non-League Paper on Sunday for the latest news from across Non-League over the last seven days, together with exclusive match reports and pictures from all of Saturday’s upcoming action in the Vanarama National League.
Image courtesy of Alun Roberts