Alex Brown has played his last game for Gloucester after shoulder surgery
Last Updated: 20/12/12 7:44am
Alex Brown: Forced to retire after serious shoulder surgery
Gloucester and England lock Alex Brown has been forced to retire from rugby union because of a shoulder injury.
Brown was hurt in the first game of the 2012-13 Aviva Premiership season against Northampton and three months of rest did nothing to help.
He was eventually forced to have complicated surgery in November to ascertain the severity of the injury in the hope that it would repair the damage, and although he has been told the nerve damage will eventually allow full movement to return, there was no chance of him playing again.
The 33-year-old played more than 200 times for the Cherry and Whites and won three international caps against Australia and South Africa in 2006 and 2007.
He told the club's website: "It's stating the obvious but I'm totally gutted. I was so looking forward to this season and beyond.
"When the surgeon came in after the operation and told me that I would not be able to play rugby again, the news hit me hard and has been tough to deal with, especially as there has been a new dawn at Gloucester Rugby under Nigel Davies and I so wanted to be part of it.
"I've kept myself involved on match days, which has been a diversion but it's obviously not the same as playing.
"I genuinely thought that I had a few good years left in me but it's not to be. I've had to take on board the advice I have received and what my body is telling me."