8 December 2023
The Club are deeply saddened to announce that 27 year old defender Marc-Anthony Okoye has retired from professional football with immediate effect.
Okoye, who came through the ranks of the Bromley Youth system playing alongside the likes of Bradley Goldberg and Brendan Kiernan, went on to represent the Dulwich Hamlet, Merstham and Braintree Town, before signing for the Ravens and returning ‘home’ in the Summer of 2018.
Okoye has since established himself as a fans’ favourite, and has on numerous occasions taken the Captain’s armband when asked to do so by Neil Smith.
Okoye commented; “It’s been a very difficult past month or so. I’ve seen specialists and had various opinions on my knee, but unfortunately the overall verdict is that I need to stop playing.”
He was quick to express his thanks to the supporters; “I’m so honoured and grateful, all the support I’ve received since signing back here last summer has been simply amazing. I’m truly grateful to each and every one of them and hope they can continue to do the same for any player who comes through the door at Bromley Football Club.”
“A massive thanks also goes to Neil Smith. Having signed last summer, I played in a few positions and earned his respect, and he repaid me by trusting me in big games. The boys all took to me from day one, respecting me as a man and as a player. I’m grateful to everyone at Bromley Football Club.”
Manager Neil Smith added; “I’m really disappointed and upset for Marc. Especially at the start of the season when he got into the side, he was keeping Jack Holland out and playing very well. He was a tower of strength for us and took the captaincy when required. We had a great run and he was a huge part of that.”
“When we found out the news, we were devastated. We had hoped he was going to play a big part of our future, especially as a local lad. We’ve now got to be there to support him and we will do, as men and as a Club. Our thoughts are with him, and we all hope the future for him outside of football is a bright one.”
Director of Football Jerry Dolke also spoke very highly of Marc and wished him well; “I’m desperately sad to hear the unfortunate news regarding Marc’s condition at the peak of his footballing career. He is someone who I strongly believe is one of the best centre-backs in this league.”
“Marc has had a long association with the Club and it’s been amazing to watch him blossom from our U9s right through to leading our first team out in the National League this season. He will be sorely missed not only on the pitch, but in and around the club on a daily basis.”
Everyone at Bromley Football Club has reminded Marc that he is, and always will part of our football family and is always welcome. We look forward to seeing him at some matches soon!