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'I'm totally at peace': Bath hooker Ross Batty retires with immediate effect

By Sam Smith
(Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images)

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Ross Batty has called time on his 16-year career, the 34-year-old stepping away from the game on the advice of medical professionals following a neck injury sustained playing for before Christmas 2020. “I’m totally at peace with retirement now,” said Durham native Batty, who has spent over a decade at Bath. “At the start, I was very blinkered to what I think would have been quite clear to other people. I thought I would get fixed and get back out there again, but sometimes you can’t see the wood for the trees.

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“The situation is such where I can’t really go again and it’s a time where I have to accept it and move on. It would be massively risky to go back out there again and seriously risk my health. I’m really looking forward to the future and what might come next for me.”

Batty began playing for Darlington Mowden Park minis before progressing at Barnard Castle School and eventually being picked up by the Newcastle Falcons academy. A loan spell back at Darlington was his first taste of senior rugby and a 2006 Premiership debut was earned for the Falcons against Saracens.

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Three years in the senior set-up at Kingston Park ended with a season at Rotherham Titans and it proved to be Batty’s last club up north, the hooker switching to Bath for whom he has made more than 170 appearances. 

“I certainly didn’t expect to be living so long down in the West Country but when you have been involved in the town and what we have been doing for so long, it becomes a natural home for you. The people and the fans have had a massive part to play in that and have always been welcoming; I just feel very comfortable down here and it’s a beautiful part of the world.

 

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“I’m massively proud to have been here at this club for long; to achieve this many games at Bath is something I’m unbelievably proud of,” continued Batty. “I never got the chance to play at a higher level so I made a firm belief to give everything for Bath when I played. I’m happy and grateful to have had the opportunity.”

Bath boss Stuart Hooper added: “Ross has been an incredible servant for our club and was a key part of the pack in the Premiership final in 2015. He has a physical edge which combined with his skills as a dynamic ball carrier makes him an exciting player to watch. His decision to retire has not been easy but he has earned the respect of his teammates and coaches and that is something that I know will be replicated in his future.”

Batty, who plans to continue living in Bath, will now begin work with Stonewood Builders this summer. “It’s been a ride,” he said. “It’s been great fun and I have genuinely loved it. Bath is a good club to be a part of and hopefully, I’ll be able to get down to a few games in the future.

“I’m very thankful for my time here, I’ve loved every minute of it and it’s where I’m going to stay down here in the West Country with my two girls Stacey and Lyla (girlfriend and little girl) for the foreseeable future as I love this part of the world. I have just got a job with Stonewood Builders. I’m very happy to have the opportunity there; they have helped put a plan together to develop over the next five years and I can’t wait to get stuck in. It’s a new chapter I’m massively excited for.” 

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'I'm totally at peace': Bath hooker Ross Batty retires with immediate effect

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