Pontypridd lock Chris Martenko has decided to call an early end to his senior rugby career, having recently been blighted by a persistent back problem.
'Tenko' joined up with Ponty from his home town club of Gilfach Goch in 2003, making his debut in a league game against Ebbw Vale in December of that year.
During two spells at Sardis Road, interspersed by an opportunity to go fully professional with the Ospreys region, Martenko turned out on 122 occasions for Pontypridd, scoring 12 tries. His final bow came on 5th November 2010 in the home game against Llanelli.
The former Wales under 21 cap had already fought his way back from a career threatening shoulder injury, which had put paid to his chances with the Ospreys, to return to action with Pontypridd in 2007.
The abrasive lock had become a firm favourite with the Ponty crowd, and a mainstay of the team's forward unit.
Having undergone surgery on a back problem during the summer, Tenko had this season found it increasingly difficult to recover after training and playing, and hence decided to take early retirement from the rigours of semi professional rugby.
"After a lot of soul searching I decided it would be best for my family and the club if I called it a day," said Martenko. "After the operation on my back I realized that I would not be a able to sustain the level of rugby that Ponty would need from me and be able to be a good father to my daughter Lilly.
"I've loved every minute of every game that I've played for Ponty and the only regret that I will leave with is not being able to carry my daughter on to the pitch as a player. I'm sure you will be seeing Lilly as a mascot in the near future though, it's all she talks about even though she is only 3 months old!
"I'd like to wish the boys all the best for the rest of the season - I'm sure there's going to be some silverware to celebrate at the end of it."
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