Tom Portas announces retirement

Tom Portas has announced his retirement from football after five years with Stockton Town.

Following a number of meetings over recent weeks and medical advice from his Consultant Tom has taken the decision to retire from football immediately, due to the injury he  picked up on his Achilles in the Play-Off Final. This has been an extremely difficult decision for Tom but one Stockton Town fully supports. Tom will continue his rehab at the Club and we will continue to see him around with further discussions planned in the future between Tom and the Club.

The combative midfielder featured 157 times for the Anchors and scored seven goals in an impressive spell which saw him gain two promotions with his hometown club.

Portas is also well known for his highly successful spell down the road at Darlington where he made 128 appearances and helped the club to two promotions.

Looking back on his playing career at Stockton Town, Portas said:  “Ever since the Play-Off Final and my injury, this decision has been playing on my mind all the time and it hasn’t been an easy decision.

“Playing football has been part of my life for a very long time, after making the decision to hang my boots up I can only look back on my non-league career and be proud of what I have achieved, with five promotions under my belt.

“I wish Stockton Town all the best for the future and I couldn’t be more grateful to Marty (Hillerby) Michael (Dunwell), all the staff and players for my time at the club, instead of being a player I am now a fan.

Thank you, Tom, UTA”       

Manager Michael Dunwell, who signed him from West Auckland in 2019 gave his thoughts:

“ Tom has been a pivotal part of our success in the past five years.

“He’s been one of our most consistent performers, he’s such a character in the dressing room and has been a driving force to what we’ve achieved in that time.

“He’s made such a tough decision but one we all know is right for him and his family.

“He will be a huge miss on the pitch and in the dressing room. I personally would like to thank him for his commitment to the club and wish him and his family well in the future. See you soon mate. “

Speaking on behalf of the Club,  Chairman Martin Hillerby added: “ How do we put into words Tom’s contribution to Stockton Town. I first met Tom as our U14 manager when he came to play for me and helped transform a struggling team into league winners within two years.

“This team became the basis of our First Team and the leap into senior football for Stockton Town, of which Tom was a crucial part. Tom’s abilities meant that he had to leave Stockton Town for a number of years to realise his potential and he enjoyed great success away from the Club with Guisborough Town, Whitby Town and Darlington.

“In the five years since Tom returned we have enjoyed promotions beyond our expectations culminating in the incredible day back in May in the Play-Off Final. On behalf of everyone associated with the Club can I thank Tom for all he has contributed over many years.”

We wish Tom the best of luck in his future and he will forever be an Anchor.

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