It is always sad to see great players part ways with our sport, especially great influences to the Pro Paintball community such as Tommy Pemberton. Tommy announced yesterday that he would be retiring from his long career with Pro Paintball team London Nexus in the European Millenium series. Read on for his official statement.

As someone who lives and breathes this sport I didn’t expect to be writing something like this at this time in my career but here it goes …

The past month or so has been a real curve ball for me, so I wanted to explain it all as fully as possible, to kill any rumours or mis-truths that may have instead gone around.

As some of you may or may not know, almost 5 weeks ago I went in for double knee surgery, to try and fix the persistent injuries I had picked up through my career and was running with throughout this past season. The surgery went well, although while operating the surgeon discovered a much greater issue in my right knee than the pre-op scans had shown.

Things had sounded positive from the fixes he had tried, but after meeting with him last week and subsequently speaking to the physiotherapist – the fixes don’t appear to have taken as well as needed for what I want to continue doing.

I hope to be back walking fully unaided within a month, but with the demands of playing Pro Paintball the surgeon has advised that there is a very high probability that I would receive instant and permanent damage in my right knee, however well I prepared for it.

I have always put the team first over anything including injuries, but due to the severe and very real consequences at hand, I am going to be unable to play for London Nexus for the foreseeable future and after the hardest contemplation of my life, it’s with sadness that I am going to retire from professional paintball accordingly.

It really hurts to have to retire from the sport and team that I love at only 24 years old when I feel I have so much more to give, but I have to play the cards I have been dealt. Nexus has meant everything to me since we formed in 2003 and I am so proud of what we have achieved together, particularly 2007 to now; rebuilding the team from scratch to winning Pro events.

I am genuinely grateful to everyone that has supported me throughout, or helped me to progress in this great sport. I wouldn’t be here without you guys.

So, to everybody who has openly or vocally supported me personally in any way as a player over the years; sincerely and totally, thank you. I couldn’t even explain how much that support has always meant to me.

With a much more open schedule than usual looking apparent for 2010, I am aiming to run more clinics than I have before – to keep giving back to the people that want to progress. Also, as my work at DYE Europe continues, I hope to continue be involved in tournament paintball in some form.

To my boys on Nexus old and new – It has been a real honour playing with and helping to represent with you all. Those moments where we fought like champions or where we really were the best for any given weekend, rank as the proudest in my life and they could never be forgotten.

With that I am truly grateful that I have been able to live my dreams alongside you all; as those will last forever.

Blue and Gold for life,

Tommy ’Gun’ Pemberton

We hope to see a speedy recovery for you Tommy and a great future, and better yet to at some point see you back on the field!