It is with deep regret that Ramsbottom United announce the premature retirement of defender Mark Ayres.

The popular player returned for his second spell with the club as recently as March, and his inspirational displays helped the club achieve its target of remaining in the third tier of non-league football.

A fan and player favourite from his previous spell at the Harry Williams Riverside Stadium, Mark was enthusiastically welcomed back and his performances showed why he was held in such high regard.

However, after the final game of the season at home to Matlock Town, Mark collapsed and was rushed to hospital in an ambulance.

After undergoing a series of tests, the doctors have advised him to retire from the game, and reluctantly he has done so.

The 29-year-old will be missed by many at the club, but everyone at Ramsbottom United and thanks him for his excellent work-rate, and wishes him well for the future.

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