A second Harlequins hooker has retired with immediate effect this week, Max Crumpton following 2012 Premiership title winner Rob Buchanan permanently on to the sidelines four months before his 27th birthday after sustaining a career-ending hamstring injury during last January’s Heineken Cup fixture away to Bath.

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The Harlequins forward, who began his eight-year professional career at Saracens, has not been able to sufficiently recover, bringing to an end to his second spell at the club.

The hooker had a loan period at The Stoop either side of stints at Plymouth Albion and Bristol before returning to Quins in February 2018, making 20 appearances and scoring twice before being forced to call it quits. 

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Crumpton said: “Every player dreams of having that fairy tale finish to their playing career. While I haven’t had the opportunity to sign off from my time as a professional rugby player in front of a crowded Stoop, I’m immensely proud of what I achieved in nearly a decade as a professional athlete.

“I’d like to thank everyone at Harlequins, from players, support staff and fans for their support and dedication during my time at the club. I’d also like to thank everyone from each of my former clubs for their influence on my rugby journey. But most of all, I thank my family, who have supported me all the way.

“My career has finished sooner than I would have wanted, but I have plenty of fond memories to look back on and I’m thankful for the continued support from Quins as I begin my life after rugby. It will be great to come back to The Stoop as a fan when rugby returns.”

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Sad to see Crumpton finish, Harlequins boss Paul Gustard added: “I’ve known Max from his early days at Saracens as a young boy with lots of aggression and confrontation on the field and off the field much the same, to nowadays retaining that aggressive and confrontational edge, but developing the maturity and dedication to become an exceptional player.

“Last season when we finished fifth in the league, Max established himself as a key member of our squad and was beginning to show the level of performance and consistency that we felt was always within him. It is a real shame Max was unable to kick on after a breakthrough season last year and continue to add value on and off the field for Quins.

“Max was extremely well respected and appreciated by the staff and players at the club for his effort and attitude to training. On top of his playing abilities, Max showed a strong capacity for leadership, and we will miss that.

“First and foremost, Max and his young family will always be welcome at Harlequins, and it’s our job to ensure that we continue to support him in his transition.

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“I’m sure like ourselves, our supporters are disappointed to lose somebody through injury who had the hallmarks of all the characteristics and qualities we look for in a player. We wish Max well as he moves forward in his career, and the door will always be open to him.”

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