SUPER League veteran Simon Knox has spoken of his anguish over deciding to hang up his boots after 14 years in the pro game.

The Whitehaven-born forward has opted to retire from his play ing and coaching role at Barrow over a combination of a new job, persistent neck injury and desire to see more of his young family.

And he dismissed the possibility of a return to the game at the age of 32 with Blackpool Panthers, though he confirmed that the new NL2 club had shown an interest in him becoming player-coach.

Knox, one of a tiny band of players to feature for the four Cumbrian pro clubs, including Car lisle Raiders before their demise, started his own finance company in Wigan last year but was recently ‘head-hunted’ by a major company based in Bolton.

He said: “I am working until 5.30pm and struggling to get to training at 7pm. It is not fair to be turning up late.

“But I have also had a calf injury on top of a persistent neck injury.

“I’m gutted because no-one wants to retire. You think you are Peter Pan and can go on for ever.

“Another factor is wanting to see more of my three young boys, who are 10, seven and two.”

Knox joined Barrow in the close- season after helping guide Leigh into Super League. Craven Park boss Peter Roe was stunned when Knox told him on the eve of their clash with Haven that he was to retire.

Knox turned pro with Carlisle Raiders from Hensingham ama teurs in 1991 and spent four sea sons with the club before switch ing to Bradford Bulls, helping them to Challenge Cup and Super League glory in the late nineties. He went on to have stints with Widnes and Halifax.