WEYMOUTH legend Ben Thomson has retired from football with immediate effect, the Terras have confirmed.

Thomson, a fans’ favourite for his powerful, committed displays up front, scored 69 goals and recorded 47 assists in 277 appearances for the club.

His final game proved to be the 3-1 loss at Torquay United on Tuesday, December 5.

Thomson played an integral role in achieving back-to-back promotions under Mark Molesley, winning the Southern League in 2018/19 before going up to the National League via the play-offs in 2020.

He joined Weymouth from Frome in 2015/16, only leaving the Bob Lucas Stadium to sign for Salisbury in 2022 when the Terras were relegated from the National League.

Thomson’s second spell at Weymouth coincided with a huge recovery effort to rescue the club from financial strife.

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However, he was injured just 15 minutes into his second debut at Welling and has been dogged by injuries ever since.

Despite that, he still managed to score three times in 16 appearances this campaign.

Echosport understands the decision was made earlier this month, with Weymouth waiting for a midweek gap in fixtures to announce the news.

Speaking to the Dorset Echo, manager Bobby Wilkinson believes Thomson will be sorely missed at the Bob Lucas Stadium.

“I’m gutted, I’ve loved working with him,” Wilkinson said.

“He just didn’t want to pick up another injury with work. He’s been an absolute pleasure to work with.

“No wonder he’s a fans’ favourite because of the way he plays, he plays with his heart on his sleeve. He’ll be sorely missed but he’s always welcome back.

“When he told me, I tried to persuade him but then I knew he’d made up his mind. I had to honour that and I’m gutted I only got to work a year with him.

“He’s struggled with injuries for the last year, so I understand his decision. I just wish I’d got him fully fit. We nearly did and I wish him all the best in his next chapter.”

Explaining how huge an impact his retirement will have at the club, Wilkinson added: “They’re the sort of characters that don’t come around that often.

“I think he’ll be a massive miss. He’s definitely been a massive miss not being around the changing rooms, because we all love him.

“On his day, wasn’t he a good striker? I’ve seen him play over the years and I’ve been a big admirer.

“I’ve done everything in my power to keep him playing and bringing him back to the club was quite shrewd. He’s fought so hard but he keeps breaking down, so I understand and respect his decision.”

Thomson will always be welcome at Terras games, especially in the changing room.

Wilkinson said: “There will be certain times when I’ll ask him to come and be around it, he’s always welcome, everyone knows that.

“I think he’s going to take some time out. Hopefully he’ll phone me and say he wants to come and watch a game, he’ll always be welcome. “