Ryan Mason was been described as ‘one of the best players’ to come out of Tottenham’s academy, on the day he announced his retirement from football at the age of just 26.
The midfielder has called time on his playing career on medical advice after suffering a fractured skull 13 months ago.
One of his former coaches at Spurs, Chris Ramsey, joined talkSPORT to pay a glowing tribute to the player and he said it was clear from very early on that the club had a future star on their hands.
Mason endured a frustrating star to his football career - A talented number ten, the youngster was one of the top players at Tottenham's development squad but his progression to the first-team was delayed by a string of injuries.
He finally made the step up into Mauricio Pochettino's Premier League squad at the age of 23, and he joined Hull City two years later for £10million.
But his career suffered a tragic end in only his 20th appearance for the Tigers, following a clash of heads with Chelsea defender Gary Cahill which left him hospitalised and with 14 metal plates fused to his skull.
He announced his retirement on Tuesday, but Ramsey says Mason still has a lot to offer the game and hopes he will consider a move into coaching after hanging up his boots.
“Ryan was one of the best youth players I’ve ever seen," said Ramsey, who coached Spurs' Under-21s team alongside Tim Sherwood and Les Ferdinand .
“He flourished late, he was a late developer as a kid, but he realised he had to work at it and he did.
“He was a good finisher, good on the ball, he was very much an all-rounder.
“Unfortunately for him he had a few injuries during his career, but he is an excellent footballer and it’s a great loss for the English game.
“Tottenham had a system which allowed slighter players like him to flourish. Of all the players who have come through the club, he’ll be at the very top as one of the best players.
“I think he could have got a lot more England caps if he not had a lot of the niggly injuries he had earlier in his career, but as a player there was a lot more to come from him.
“I spoke to him yesterday, he’s got a lot of respect for the players and coaches who have helped him throughout his career and as one of his former coaches I’m trying to entice him into that now.
“I hope he will stay in the game because I think he’s got a lot to offer.”
Listen to Chris Ramsey's interview on the Hawksbee and Jacobs show IN FULL above