Sam Baldock: Oxford United striker retires aged 34 due to injury

Oxford United striker Sam Baldock has announced his retirement from football due to a series of injuries.

The 34-year-old joined the U's in February 2022 and signed a new two-year deal that May.

Yet consistent injuries have limited him to only 11 appearances for the club, where he scored four goals.

"The injuries had just become too much," Baldock, who last played for Oxford in February in their 3-0 defeat by Bristol Rovers, said in a statement.

"I did all that I could to get fit and the medical team at Oxford have been incredible. I got so close to a return in January and then had another setback.

"This summer was tough, wondering whether I might have another season within me but, in the end, that gamble was not fair on anyone, including the club and my family."

Baldock, who grew up supporting Oxford, will stay on at the League One club in a newly created backroom role as their business development analyst.

He made 435 appearances through his career for clubs including MK Dons, West Ham, Bristol City, Brighton, Reading and Derby, scoring 121 goals.

While Baldock said it was "the right time" to retire, he added he wished he had played more for Oxford.

"I think I will always look back and wish I had been able to play more games for Oxford and really show what I could do," he said.

"I watched them as a kid and wanted to win promotion here. It wasn't to be."