Chris Bell: Wasps vice-captain forced to retire with shoulder injury
Wasps vice-captain Chris Bell has been forced to retire with immediate effect, because of the shoulder injury he picked up midway through this season.
Bell, 32, suffered his injury just 13 minutes into the club's first game at their new home in Coventry in December.
"Chris is such a tough character, we knew it must be a serious injury to stop him in his tracks.
"Alarm bells started to ring when he wasn't back within a few weeks," said director of rugby Dai Young.
"Unfortunately, it has turned out to be an injury that has ended his career.
|For whom Bell toiled . . .|
|In a career spanning 14 years, Chris Bell made 275 appearances, 183 of them in the Premiership, as well as representing England at Under-16s, Under-18s, Under-19s, Under-21s and Saxons level.|
|He captained Wasps back into the top flight of Europe after a three-year absence in 2013-14 but was replaced as skipper this season by England forward James Haskell.|
|Bell helped Leeds win the first Powergen Cup trophy in the club's history in 2005, scoring a try at Twickenham in the final against Bath.|
Young added: "Chris is a fantastic role model. You won't meet a more honest, hard-working, professional and committed guy.
"He sets the perfect example of how to behave as a professional rugby player. He will leave a big hole and some massive shoes to fill, both on and off the field."
The England Saxons centre played for Harlequins, Leeds and Sale before joining Wasps in 2011, and scored five tries in 80 appearances for the club.
"I am immensely disappointed that I have had to retire," he said. "However, I am grateful to have had the experience of professional rugby. I have made some great friends, played alongside and against some amazing players and played at some incredible stadiums."
Bell is the second Wasps player to announce his retirement this month, following former Wales prop John Yapp, who has a back injury.