TRANMERE manager Ronnie Moore has been left to look for a striker to lead the line in the new season after Ben Burgess cancelled his contract with the club and hung up his boots.
The 30-year-old target man, who signed a two-year deal with Rovers at the beginning of July, has decided to retire from playing for reasons related to his fitness.
Moore said: “I’m obviously disappointed that it hasn’t worked out with Ben but it isn’t a decision he will have made easily – and it is one we have to respect.
“Ben feels he is unable to play at 100% and doesn’t want to carry on at less than his best.
“He’s been a model professional while he has been here and I wish him the best of luck in his new life outside of football.
“It leaves us with a gap to fill up front but we’ve already started working on it and hope to bring in a replacement as soon as possible.”
Burgess said: “I’d like to thank everyone at Tranmere Rovers and I’m really sorry it hasn’t worked out.”
Burgess moved to Tranmere following his release at the end of last season by Notts County. Moore was delighted by the signing of a player with the experience of spells at half a dozen League clubs behind him and a more than respectable scoring record over 361 games.
He played 45 minutes in each of Tranmere’ pre-season friendlies against Cammell Laird and Heswall last week but was not involved in the games at Vauxhall Motors and Marine.
Burgess was born in Buxton and lives in Lytham St Anne’s. He is no stranger to Merseyside, having spent two years in Everton’s youth development setup, where he worked with Tranmere coach John McMahon. He later moved on to the youth setup at Blackburn.
Tranmere’s search for a replacement could lead them back to Jonathan Tehoue.
The 28-year-old Frenchman, who spent the last two seasons at Leyton Orient, played a trial game at Marine, but was forced to limp off after half an hour with a dead leg.
Moore may have an opportunity to weigh up potential targets when Tranmere play an Everton XI in the Liverpool Senior Cup final at Prenton Park tonight (7.30).