Barron calls time on playing career

Long serving Newcastle Thunder prop Matty Barron has announced his retirement from professional rugby league, bringing to an end an 11 year career as a professional player

A vastly experienced prop, Barron had signed up for a tenth season with Thunder, a club which he first became affiliated with as a ball boy back at the age of 14, but feels following his latest pre-season it is now time to hang up the boots.

Speaking to ThunderTV Barron said: “I’ve just come to a point where my body isn’t recovering as great as it could be, which happens when you’ve played for so long and I just think now is a good time

“I came back [from the word cup] with a new love for rugby and my mind was saying that yeah, I could still do it but my body was saying something else.

First signing for the club back in 2007, Barron spent all but one of his professional season’s with the club and has amassed over 150 appearances on Tyneside as well as earning international honours for Wales.

A key part of the local core that makes up the Thunder squad, Barron was renowned as a strong ball carrier with surging runs and was a firm fan favourite.

Having returned to playing in 2017 after recovering from a serious leg break, his final competitive appearance came during the World Cup against Fiji after playing a key role in Thunder’s push into the promotion play-offs, allowing the 31-year-old to enjoy what has turned out to be a fitting final chapter.

Newcastle Thunder head coach Jason Payne said: ““I was delighted when Matty extended his stay so it’s obviously sad news that he’s brought his career to a close.

“I played alongside him for many years and he was a great player. He worked incredibly hard over the last couple of years to come back from a pretty horrific broken leg, which shows the character of the man.

“He has achieved a lot over his career, both playing internationally and being part of the Thunder team that last played in the Championship and we were all looking forward to him being a big player in a successful 2018.

“He is still going to be a big part at the club so hopefully we can make some more great memories but before we head off on that journey, I’d like to thank Matty for everything he has done for the club out on the field over the best part of a decade.”

Click on the video above for Matty’s full interview with Thunder TV