Former West Brom, Chelsea, Brighton and Huddersfield man retires from football - aged just 26

This former West Brom, Chelsea, Brighton and Huddersfield player has announced his retirement aged just 26.
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West Bromwich Albion academy graduate Isaiah Brown has announced his retirement from professional football at 26 years of age. The midfielder has reluctantly decided to hang up his boots following two Achilles tendon surgeries, making for a heartbreaking end to his playing days.

The Baggies were the side to give Brown his professional debut, aged just 16 against Wigan Athletic. He then went on to sign for Chelsea – a step Brown himself describes as a childhood dream. A former England U20 international, the midfielder totted up over 100 senior appearances over nine seasons.

Much of Brown’s career was spent contracted to Chelsea, but he went out on numerous loan spells. His first was at Dutch side Vitesse, where he played 22 times. He then went on to feature for Rotherham United (20 apps), Huddersfield Town (15 apps), Brighton & Hove Albion (13 apps), Leeds United (1 app), Luton Town (25 apps) and Sheffield Wednesday (19 apps).

More recently, in 2021, Brown signed for Preston North End - but he failed to make an appearance after a crushing Achilles tendon injury. “It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that after a long year of struggling with surgeries, I now have to retire from professional football,” Brown said in a farewell statement.

“I lived a dream that most don’t get the opportunity to live and for that I will always be eternally grateful. To get to play the sport I love brought many happy times during my life. It also delivered many challenges that I wouldn’t have been able to get through without the support of my family and friends.

“I really appreciate you all for believing in me and giving me the chance to play the game I love. Lastly, I just want to say thank you to all the fans that have supported me and sang my name, there is no greater feeling than hearing that. You mean the world to me, and always will,” Brown went on to say.