Chelsea this evening announced the terrible news that talented young defender Sam Hutchinson has been forced into retirement aged just 21 due to chronic long-term knee problems.
Whilst the news isn’t a total shock to those who were aware of Sam’s troubles, it nonetheless comes as a huge blow to every Chelsea fan, and we can only imagine how devastated Sam himself must be.
To summarise the situation, the young defender has had problems similar to Ledley King’s in his knee for some time, and has seen his playing time severely diminished over the last three years as a result.
At the start of pre-season, a promising piece was put on the official Chelsea website regarding Hutch’s extra work over the summer to ensure he was able to play as much as possible, and revealed that he had gone so far as to contemplate quitting the game during some low times.
That, unfortunately, came to be this evening, after a further flare-up which would have not only impacted heavily on any career he would have had, but on his life away from the game too.
He’ll continue working in and with the academy on a sports science degree and the club will fully back him throughout his career should he wish to pursue a coaching qualification.
He made four appearances for the first team – which by recent academy standards represents a pretty strong progression through the ranks – and excelled in his only start, a Carling Cup tie at home to QPR last September, when he was considered Man of the Match.
From everyone at TheChels, and most likely everyone who follows the club over land and sea, we can only express our deepest sympathies towards Sam right now, and hope that his career away from the pitch has as much potential as he showed on it.