BBC Sport - Andy Wilkinson: Stoke City defender on the day his career ended

Wilkinson: The day it all ended

During Stoke City's FA Cup fifth round defeat by Blackburn at Ewood Park in February 2014, long-serving defender Andy Wilkinson was hit full in the face by a fiercely-struck shot.

"The ball smashed me in the side of the face. As soon as I turned to run back, my vision completely went," he recalls. "I thought I'd be able to train on the Monday morning and it would be all fine."

Instead, having been substituted at half-time, it left him with blurred vision, dizzy spells and then being diagnosed with post-concussion syndrome.

Following consultation with specialists on both sides of the Atlantic, after 192 appearances in his 14 years on the books at Stoke, the tough-tackling full-back's career is now over, at 31.

"Everybody's got to finish some time," he said. "And I enjoyed every minute."

On Monday, 16 May, Stoke will stage a testimonial game for him at the Britannia Stadium.

Stone-born Wilkinson, who grew up as a boy following the Potters at the Victoria Ground, will get the chance to say farewell to the fans at his local club. The proceeds will go to local charities.

Ian Winter went along to interview him for BBC Midlands Today.

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