Ex-Portsmouth and Charlton winger released by Sheffield United as retirement moves closer

Ricky Holmes’ departure from Sheffield United has been confirmed as he gets prepared to retire from football.

Saturday, 27th June 2020, 5:00 pm

The former Pompey winger hasn’t had his contracted renewed at Brammall Lane and will depart the club.

Holmes hasn’t played football for 16 months after aggravating the back problem which has plagued his career.

He moved to the Blades in January 2018 after impressing for Charlton.

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However, he made just five appearances for Chris Wilder’s men and was loaned out to Oxford United and Gillingham last season – but didn’t make a single appearance at the latter due to his setback.

Holmes, who was crowned The News/ Sports Mail Pompey Player of the Season in 2014, revealed last month he was set to hang up his boots because of his ongoing back problem.

Speaking to The News, the ex-Northampton man said: ‘It might need an operation, but I am reluctant. I am 33 in the summer and am thinking “Do I have another operation to play 2-3 more years?”.

‘Probably not, but I’m still in pain from day-to-day, so I need to get something sorted.

Ricky Holmes. Picture: Joe Pepler

‘Retirement in the summer looks imminent really. I think it’s inevitable, just for my health.

‘We’ve recently had a baby and you don’t want to get to 40 and not be able to play in the park with them, do you.’

Holmes moved to Fratton Park on a free transfer from Barnet in the summer of 2013.

He scored twice in 62 appearances before joining Northampton in January 2015.