Hartlepool United’s ex-Boro defender Stuart Parnaby retires and gives Ronnier Moore right-back headache

Stuart Parnaby in action against Whitby Town. Picture by FRANK REID
Stuart Parnaby in action against Whitby Town. Picture by FRANK REID

UEFA Cup finalist Stuart Parnaby has called time on his football career.

The ex-Middlesbrough defender had been training with Hartlepool United, despite being released by the club in the summer.

He would have been excellent cover for that right-back slot


And the 33-year-old was in line to play in Saturday’s League Two trip to Exeter City, only to suffer a calf injury early in Tuesday’s reserve-team win at Scunthorpe.

Parnaby, who has been plagued by injury throughout his career, decided to retire and will concentrate now on setting up his own sports business.

Pools boss Ronnie Moore admitted Parnaby was in pole position to play right-back at St James Park on Saturday following injury to first-choice Michael Duckworth and a suspension to Carl Magnay after his sending off at Wycombe.

“We spoke obviously after the game and he was disappointed,” said Moore.

“He would have been excellent cover for that right-back slot.

“He has been unfortunate at this club with injuries.

“He hasn’t had a calf injury during his career and he has done it and that was enough for him to call it a day.

“It can happen in football and that’s why you should always enjoy playing while you can. You never know when your last game might come along.”

Moore is trying to secure a right-back on loan otherwise midfielder Nicky Featherstone would be the best optuion.

The Pools boss also has doubts over Bily Paynter and Rakish Bingham who both have hamstring problems.

Parnaby, a UEFA Cup finalist with Boro a decade ago, was signed by former boss Colin Cooper last summer and hoped a player of Premier League calibre would be a catalyst for his League Two side.

But injury trouble plagued him and he made only a handful of appearances.

After his release in the summer, Parnaby continued at the Vic and featured heavily in pre-season with Moore saying the “door remained open” to him.

There was an option for him to stay and work alongside head physio Ian Gallagher while being available to play.

He started Tuesday’s reserve-team match at Scunthorpe only to come off in the 14th minute.

Parnaby is planning his own business in working with athletes in fitness and re-hab, with Moore conforming he’s welcome to remain in the club.

“It will be up to him if he stays,” said the manager. “He has good rehab programmes he is working onn and he will be welcome to stay around.

“He is getting into his own business and he has some great ideas, so we will probably have a chat with him and see what he thinks.”