Former Hatter Mullins retires from professional football

Former Luton defender Johnny Mullins has retired from professional football
Former Luton defender Johnny Mullins has retired from professional football

Ex-Luton defender Johnny Mullins has decided to retire from professional football.

The 33-year-old, who was at Cheltenham, joining the Robins in May 2018 when he was released by the Hatters, made over 500 first team appearances during his career.

However, a number of niggly injuries meant Mullins featured just 24 times this term, his last game coming back on New Year's Day.

The centre half started out at Reading, before spells with Kidderminster, Mansfield, Stockport, Rotherham and Oxford, moving to Kenilworth Road in the summer of 2016.

He featured 51 times, scoring three goals for the Hatters, winning his third promotion when helping Luton reach League One last season to go with successes at Rotherham and Oxford.

Speaking to the Cheltenham official website, Mullins said: "I want to look towards the next chapter of my life, spend a bit more time with my family, and see what happens.

"I’ve had a long career. When I started when I was younger you have all these dreams of what you’d like to achieve – I didn’t quite make it to the Champions League final or the World Cup final but I enjoyed my run.

"I think now with the age I’m at I feel like I’m ready for another challenge and some opportunities that are coming to me from outside of football.

"I want to see where I can go further and put my career in the box – I really enjoyed it and want to move onto the next chapter.

“Whenever I finished I wanted it to be on my terms. That’s how it’s happened and I couldn’t be more excited about the next part of my life.

"I look back on my career and my time at Cheltenham with fond memories.

"I wish the team, the manager and the club all the success in the world and I hope they can push on next season and be where they deserve to be, especially the way the team finished the season.

“I’ve been fortunate to play in some very good teams under some really good managers and with some really good players.

"I’ll look back on my football career with a lot of pride and I’ve taken a lot of joy out of the people that I’ve met.

"If I started thanking people it would be endless. So many people have contributed and helped me along the way that I couldn’t thank enough if I tried – from family, to coaches, to friends and I’ve met a lot of wonderful people along the way.

"I’m sure there will be parts of me that will miss it, I know I’ll miss it as it’s been my life since I was six years old, but it’s time for the next stage.

"Hopefully I’ve got a lot more years in front of me and I look forward to trying to be a success in my next venture.”

Town striker and Mullins' room-mate when he was at Luton, striker Danny Hylton, tweeted: "Unbelievable player unbelievable career (not finished yet) but most importantly unbelievable person!!!

"Delighted to share some amazing memories with you. Proud of you bruuuuuu."