Gillingham manager Ronnie Jepson has paid tribute to two of his players who left the club this week.
Midfielder Alan Pouton was forced to retire on his 30th birthday due to a persistent knee injury while striker Bas Savage departed Priestfield after turning down a new contract.
Pouton had not featured for the Gills since Boxing Day and Jepson admitted that it "was a sad time for everybody."
"It is so sad when you get the news from the surgeon that you will have to retire," he said. "He isn't far off match-fitness but it is maintaining that fitness on the training ground and during matches.
"Sadly his knee won't sustain that and he doesn't want to end up in a wheelchair so he has taken the surgeon's advice."
Savage turned down the new deal with Gillingham after scoring just once in his four-month spell at the club.
Jepson continued: "When I brought Bas in he was unemployed. I gave him a chance and I'd like to think in that short period of time he was here he improved and has had some good games recently.
"If he thinks he can go and improve elsewhere, and get a few more quid, that's down to Bas Savage."