RUGBY fans are paying tribute to stalwart Mike Tindall who declared his apparent intention to retire from the sport after Gloucester’s last home game of the season.
Following the Cherry and Whites’ 38-30 victory over London Irish on Saturday, the 35-year-old Tweeted: “Looks like the last game at Kingsholm has been played. Gutted it has to end. Good win to finish though. Love to the #glawsfamily.”
The World Cup winner has been one of the “most influential and consistent” performers since arriving at Kingsholm for the 2005/06 season and the club says his hard tackling and strong runs have added a physical dimension to Gloucester’s midfield.
After the match on Saturday, Tindall completed a lap of the pitch with baby daughter Mia in his arms while wife Zara Phillips watched on.
Gloucester City Council leader Paul James, who was at Kingsholm on Saturday, said: “He has been a real stalwart for the club over the last eight seasons.
“Although he came up the road from Bath, where he spent some time, he is very much seen as a Gloucester boy.
“In recent times he has been a real statesman and a father figure for some of the younger players and Mike has been playing very well this season, despite his advancing years in rugby terms.
“If he was to leave the club entirely he would be missed, but hopefully there will be a way to draw on his years of experience.
“He is somebody that never gives less than 100 per cent.”
Twitter followers of Tindall, who has 75 England caps, hailed the player as being “awesome” this season and one said: “I hope this (retirement) is not true, we need someone of your calibre to direct the rest of the team.”
Fans have thanked him for his services to both Gloucester and Bath and others have called on him to play at least one more season.
In response to support online, Tindall said: “Thanks for the messages, I would love to play another year but unfortunately that option is not there for me.”