Ebbsfleet United defender Yado Mambo is to retire from football due to a knee injury. The 26-year-old centre back was told the bad news by a specialist after picking up an injury at the Wrexham game which, added to his earlier knee problems, has sadly spelled the end of his playing career.
Further stress from playing would aggravate the arthritis in his knee and lead to problems in later life so the advice from medical professionals was to take early retirement.
Understandably, Yado is upset to be hanging up his boots in this manner but the club has asked him to remain at the Kuflink Stadium in a behind-the-scenes role on our matchday staff. So fans will still be seeing the fantastic personality that is our No.18 around the hospitality lounges and the stadium; Yado will begin in this role from Boxing Day.
In his three spells with the club, which began with a loan period from Charlton Athletic in 2011/12 (pictured below), Yado made 46 appearances and scored three goals (against Grimsby Town, Chester and Whitehawk). He played in the Football League for Shrewsbury Town and AFC Wimbledon after leaving Charlton and also turned out for Staines Town, Chelmsford City, Margate and Bishop’s Stortford among others.
Only last month, he became an internet sensation following his appearance on TV against Leyton Orient and the subsequent Twitter explosion about the No.5 shirt that eventually raised more than £3,500 for Prostate Cancer UK.
The club will be publishing a fuller tribute about Yado’s time at the Fleet in our matchday programme v Dagenham & Redbridge on December 30th.
Yado took time to send a message to the Fleet fans, telling FleetOnline: “I’m really, really gutted but there’s nothing I can do. The specialist told me last week when I had my scan and X-ray. It’s one of those things, it’s life and you’ve just got to carry on. I want to say thanks to the Fleet fans for making me feel so at home, not only this season but all three spells I’ve had here. I’m just gutted I couldn’t play many more games for them. But it’s not the last time you’ll see my face, I’ll be around the stadium on matchdays, I’ll still be around the club. Ebbsfleet has a big place in my heart. I came through Charlton from a young player but Ebbsfleet is probably my second home.”
Daryl McMahon told FleetOnline, “We’re all obviously gutted for Yads. When I brought him in last year, he slotted back into the club so well and was a terrific presence in the changing room. He got his chance this season and performed magnificently when called upon. He’s been a model pro in my time as manager and it’s such a shame that this injury has ended his career. The boys will rally round him, and I’m sure the fans will too, and he’s going to be part of the matchday staff at the club, so we hope that softens the impact a little bit for what is a massive blow to any player at the peak of their career.”
Fleet’s vice chairman Peter Varney said, “This is tremendously sad news for the club and of course even more so for Yado who has been in the game since coming through Charlton’s youth academy. In his several spells with the club here, he has been a fantastic professional and a fantastic person, with a positive, upbeat attitude that has made him immensely popular with staff, players and Ebbsfleet supporters.
“Early retirement is always a terrible blow for professional footballers but we wanted to keep Yado’s infectious personality and relationship with fans and players around the club and we will certainly not be seeing the last of him at The Kuflink Stadium.
“On a personal note, Yado’s help in raising the funds for Prostate Cancer UK recently over the No.5 shirt shows what a great sport he is and raising £3,500+ was in no small way down to him embracing the story when it went viral.”