Sam Hutchinson has announced his retirement as a professional footballer.
Unfortunately the 21-year-old defender suffered a reoccurrence of the knee injury that affected his past three seasons and it is has been decided he will not recover sufficiently for the physical demands of a professional career.
Hutchinson will continue to be supported by Chelsea Football Club and will work in our Academy while also studying sports science at university. He will later pursue coaching qualifications.
He made his first-team debut as a substitute in the final league game of the 2006/07 season and was part of the first team pre-season visit to the United States that followed. Then-manager José Mourinho spoke about him as a future permanent member of the Chelsea squad.
Comfortable at full-back or in central-defence, Hutchinson was expected to make rapid progress but after just five reserve games in 2007/08, the knee problems began and brought the season to a halt.
Further recovery time was needed in the middle section of 2008/09, limiting Sam to six games for the reserves, a side which he had captained.
He joined Chelsea at the age of nine and developed into an England Under-19 international. He received an England Under 21 call-up but withdrew to manage his injury, a process that looked to be paying dividends when Hutchinson rejoined the first team squad for the pre-season tour of the US in 2009 under Carlo Ancelotti who said, 'He is a very good young talent and we have a lot of trust in him.'
Last season he played as a sub against Fulham in August and started against QPR in the Carling Cup. before in April, coming on in the 7-0 home win over Stoke and crossing for Frank Lampard's goal.
In total Hutchinson started one game for Chelsea and made three sub appearances. Chelsea Football Club thanks him for his on-pitch contribution and wishes him well in his future work with the club.