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Forgotten Man Utd and Newcastle star who was forced to retire aged 23 links up with Kevin Phillips as Hartlepool coach

FORMER Manchester United goalkeeper Paul Woolston has joined Hartlepool United as a coach following his retirement.

Woolston was forced to hang up his gloves aged 23 in 2022 due to a hip injury which could have seen him lose the ability to walk.

Paul Woolston has joined Hartlepool United as a coach following his retirement

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Paul Woolston has joined Hartlepool United as a coach following his retirementCredit: Kenny Ramsay – The Sun Glasgow

The former stopper signed for United from Newcastle and worked alongside David de Gea and Dean Henderson.

Woolston has not found himself out the game for long having joined Kevin Phillips’ coaching staff at Hartlepool.

He said: “I’m pleased to be at the club and I’m looking forward to it.

“So far the goalkeepers, both at senior and academy level, have been great to work with and their attitudes have been excellent.

“Hopefully we can get a few more clean sheets and results in the coming weeks.”

Ex-Premier League striker Phillips added: “I’m really pleased that we are able to secure Paul to the football staff.

“As a team we have struggled to keep clean sheets and conceded too many in the first half of the season.

“Paul has an excellent track record, and with his experience, will undoubtedly help us as we look to improve and sure up at the back.”

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Explaining his decision to retire, Woolston told BBC Sport: “I completely zoned out.

“Is he talking about me? Is this real? Surely this is wrong? It can’t be me. It can’t be right.

“The advice of the specialists was if I continued for another two years, my way of life would be totally different, that I would struggle to walk.

“It would be a full hip replacement at the age of 25. From there it is a long road.

“It was simple things like, if I am lucky to have kids in the future, I didn’t want to say: ‘Sorry, I can’t do it because I have ruined my hip.'”

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