Dickson hangs up his boots
NEWS: Harlequins scrumhalf Karl Dickson has announced that he will retire from rugby at the end of the current season.
On announcing the news, the 34-year-old said: "It is with a heavy heart that I have decided to hang up my boots at the end of the season. The time is right for me and I feel very lucky to be able to make this decision on my own terms.
"I am able to look back at my playing career with great pride and I will cherish the memories that Harlequins has given me, both on and off the field.
"Harlequins has been a big part of my, and my family’s, life and I would like to thank everyone at the club, including our supporters, all of whom have made it very special.
"It will be difficult to watch on from the peripheries going forward, but John Kingston and the coaching team have this squad in a great place and I look forward to seeing their progression.
"I will be taking some time to consider my post-career options and I’m excited for the new challenges which lie ahead,"
Joining Harlequins in 2009 from Bedford Blues, Dickson has made an invaluable contribution to the Club in his time, helping Harlequins to its most successful period on the field in winning the 2011 Amlin Challenge Cup, the 2012 Premiership, and the 2013 LV= Cup.
Making his debut in October 2009 he has, to date, made 167 senior appearances across 7,443 minutes for the Club.
The Salisbury-born Sports Science graduate has been a central figure within the squad during international periods, and has captained Harlequins during Anglo-Welsh campaigns.
He was twice called into the England Elite squad during the 2011/12 season and, during the 2012 summer tour to South Africa, he appeared in the second mid-week match against the South African Barbarians, replacing his younger brother, Lee, currently of Northampton Saints.
In addition to playing the sport at an elite level, Dickson has used his exceptional rugby brain to benefit other areas of the game at all levels, by turning his hand to both coaching and refereeing.
Since 2015 he has coached National League 3 London and South East side, Effingham and Leatherhead.
After picking up a refereeing whistle on the advice from former team mate Will Skinner, Dickson has quickly risen from officiating Under-18 fixtures to taking charge of the Richmond v London Irish Greene King IPA Championship match on Christmas Eve.
Commenting on the news, Harlequins Director of Rugby, John Kingston said: "Karl has had a wonderfully successful eight years at the club since he joined us from Bedford.
"He has frequently had to play the role of understudy to Danny Care but has always stepped up with tremendous consistency when asked to do so. I have no doubt he has been the best number two scrumhalf in the Premiership for many years and his style of play so accurately reflected the needs of the team.
"It will seem very odd next season not having him around the training ground. I want to thank him immensely, on behalf of everyone at the club, for the huge contribution he has made and to wish him and his young family all the very best for the future,"