David de Gea has sent Paul Woolston a letter of encouragement after the Manchester United youngster was forced to quit early.
On Wednesday afternoon, United formally announced the goalkeeper’s retirement from football at the age of 23. Woolston’s retirement came as a result of two procedures and a protracted rehabilitation time, which unfortunately forced his hand.
Woolston joined United in 2018 after impressing scouts while playing for Newcastle’s academy. He represented England up to the Under-18s level, traveling with his country to the U17 European Championship and U17 World Cup. During his time in Manchester, Woolston was also a fixture for United’s U23s, and he trained with the first team on a regular basis, studying alongside No. 1 David de Gea.
“Having to retire at the age of 23 has been incredibly difficult to accept, but I feel a lot more positive now,” Woolston told United’s internal media. “I am extremely pleased with everything I have accomplished; many people aspire to play football at my level.
“Of course, I would have preferred to continue my career, but it has been a privilege to represent Manchester United during my time here. My family, friends, teammates, coaches, medical staff, and the entire Manchester United Academy have been tremendously supportive. Right now, my entire attention is concentrated on the next step of my career.
“I am prepared to put all of my knowledge, resilience, drive, and dedication to good use in order to make a real success of my life.”
Dean Henderson, Tom Heaton, Lee Grant, and David de Gea, United’s goalkeepers, have all written messages of support to Woolston on the announcement of his early retirement, with the latter leading the accolades to the stopper.
“It’s always unfortunate when someone has to retire at such a young age,” De Gea told United’s internal media. “I spoke with him the other day and told him that the most important thing in terms of a proper existence is life, not football.
“It was heartbreaking. I trained with him when he was well, and this is very terrible news. I wish him the best of luck. He’s a fantastic young man and a fantastic goalkeeper, and we all feel terrible for him.
“I trained with him, and he had a very good left foot, which is unfortunate for him and the club.” But, as I previously stated, I was conversing with him, and first and foremost, it’s about living and being in good enough health to live a happy life.
“Of course, in life, difficulties arise and events occur. You have to keep looking forward and battling because that is what life is all about. As I previously stated, I wish him the best.”