Andrew Waterworth has announced his retirement from football at the age of 36, we can confirm.
Andy joined Glenavon last summer from Linfield as a result of being unable to commit to their new full-time model. He arrived along with two of his Windsor Park teammates, Mark Haughey and Mark Stafford, who were in the same situation.
During his short spell at the club, the centre forward made a total of 24 appearances, scoring three goals in that time.
Glenavon manager Gary Hamilton spoke to Glenavon Media following the announcement.
“I’d like to thank Andy for his professionalism, he said.
“It was a disappointment for both of us because we were looking to get Andy at his best but unfortunately he got COVID at the start of the season, which turned into long COVID.
“He also got a promotion in his job, meaning he was away for weekends with the Northern Ireland U17s and U19s, which hampered him as well.
“Through it all he was also looking after his mum who was sick and unfortunately passed away during that period, so it was one of those bad years for Andy in every aspect of life. In terms of his career with us, it just wasn’t to be.”
Gary was full of praise for the striker’s commitment.
“One thing I could never knock him for is his attitude and his influence in the changing room with other players and younger players,” he added.
“He was a credit to himself, and I knew he always was, having played with him at Glentoran and being a close friend of his as well for most of my life.
“I wish him all the best in the future with his family and for his role with Northern Ireland. I’m sure we will see him quite a bit with his job, coming round to watch games and that.
“With that, I want to congratulate him on an unbelievable career. He’s been a great servant to Irish League football and is a legend of the league. He’ll always be remembered in Irish League circles, especially at Linfield Football Club.”
Andrew also shared his thoughts with us on his retirement.
He stated, “Firstly, I knew halfway through the season last year that with my new job and work commitments that it just wasn’t viable to fully commit to the club.
“If I couldn’t give 100% then I was doing myself short and I was leaving the club short too because I wasn’t giving them everything, which didn’t sit well with me.
“I tried to hold out until the end of the year because I didn’t want to leave the club or the manager a player short during through the season, which would have left them with little cover.
“I genuinely want to thank the club and my teammates. It was a great changing room and I’ve met friends there for life.
“The Glenavon fans were good to me, even though performances were below par. I can remember one particular occasion where they gave me a good reception away to Larne and I hadn’t been playing well
“I’m disappointed I couldn’t contribute more on the pitch, but an opportunity came up in my own professional career that I couldn’t turn down and it meant that I just had to give that my all.”
We wish you all the best for the future Andy! Congratulations on a legendary career in the Irish League.