Edinburgh City defender Joe Mbu has retired from football after 12 years in the junior and senior game.
Having played on this season whilst managing pain in his knee, the domineering defender went for a clean-up operation once the campaign had ended. With a return to full fitness set to take around six months, the 35-year-old has taken the decision to call time on an impressive career.
The Cameroon-born centre back began his professional career at Hibs, spending six years in the youth ranks at Easter Road before being released, ironically, for being too small.
He then had a spell in junior football with Whitburn before going semi-pro with Cowdenbeath. His feats during a five-year spell with the Blue Brazil ensured he remains a cult figure amongst fans at Central Park, enjoying successive promotions before winning the Second Division title in 2012.
Stints at Stenhousemuir and East Fife followed before signing for Edinburgh City, then in the Lowland League. Mbu helped Gary Jardine’s team to back-to-back Lowland League titles, culminating in last summer’s historic promotion to the SPFL.
Despite plans to call it a day then, Mbu was persuaded to stay on for one last crack at league Football – a decision neither he nor City regret, as he marshalled the backline superbly, assisting City on their way to safety in their inaugural league season and making the SPFL Team of the Season in the process.
Mbu had been keen to don his usual No.21 shirt again next season, but the time-frame of his recovery means he has taken the decision to instead bow out and spend more time with partner Janet and young son Mason.