St Johnstone’s cup-winning captain Dave Mackay has been forced to retire from the game due to recurring injury issues.
Mackay was the man to lift the Scottish Cup in 2014 when Saints finally ended their 130-year wait for a major trophy by defeating Dundee United 2-0 at Celtic Park.
He’s been battling hip problems since that summer and hasn’t played since St Johnstone’s defeat to Hibs in the League Cup semi-final this past January.
Mackay has gone under the knife on two occasions to fix the problem, but while the operations have had a degree of success, Mackay feels it’s the right time to hang up his boots before the issue affects his life away from the game.
He said: “The decision hasn’t been an easy one but I’ve had to take into consideration that I don’t want to do irreversible damage that affects me away from football - I’m only 35 and have a lot of years ahead of me that I don’t want to be affected.
“I’ve probably known in my own mind that this decision had to be made and I’m happy that I’ve given myself every chance to get back playing but it’s not to be.”
Manager Tommy Wright said: “We’ve been aware of this possible outcome for a few weeks now and it’s disappointing news for Dave and the club but ultimately he is still a young man and it’s the best decision for him and that’s all that matters.”
Mackay is in discussions with St Johnstone chairman Steve Brown regarding a possible coaching position within the club.