" Everybody at the Ospreys loves Lyndon..."

Following his decision to hang up his boots through injury, Ospreys bosses have paid tribute to Lyndon Bateman.

The second row has been forced to concede defeat in his efforts to recover from a dislocated patella suffered while playing for Aberavon in the Welsh Premiership in January 2009. Following two operations and intensive treatment from the Ospreys medical team, the knee has failed to recover sufficiently to allow him to continue playing.

Head Coach, Sean Holley, led the tributes to the 31-year old second-row, saying:

"I'm very proud to have worked with Lyndon, who was one of the 'Original Ospreys'. He made his debut in our first season, away to Leinster, and went on to make 79 appearances, which is incredible when you consider he hasn't figured due to his injury since 9th Jan 2009. One of my highlights with regards to Lyndon was his bonus point winning try against Munster in the first game of the 2004-5 season, the year of our first Celtic League title.

"Lyndon came to prominence in that season and also featured heavily over the following two seasons, where he played particularly well in our home Heineken Cup victory against Stade Francais and was outstanding in our famous win over Australia. In the company of many international players Lyndon has more than held his own and proved to be a top player who at the top of his game would push for more recognition. An athletic forward with undoubted line-out ability, Lyndon has been an invaluable member of our squad both on and off the field. We will miss his long striding runs and individual style as well as his technical ability at the set piece, incredible work rate and rare character.

"Everyone at the Ospreys loves Lyndon and what he stands for. He brings true meaning to our motto Mates For Life and even though he has had to endure the best part of two seasons of pain, surgery and rehabilitation, he has kept his spirits up, supported the players and the coaching staff to the hilt and for us he will always be a big part of the Ospreys. We wish him and his family all the very best for the future."

Ospreys Managing Director, Mike Cuddy, signed Bateman for Neath back in 2002, and he also paid tribute to Bateman:

"I've known Lyndon for a number of years now having first signed him for Neath and I can't praise him highly enough. He has been a fantastic asset as a player, and a tremendous person to have in the dressing room. Never the most high profile, he has gone about his business in his own individual way and but for this unfortunate injury would have gone past the 100 cap mark for the region which is a clear indication of his value to the team.

"Never less than 100 per cent committed to the cause, he will take with him some great memories of life as an Osprey, just as everybody involved with the region will have memories of him. I wish Lyndon and his family the very best for the future, he knows that there will always be a warm welcome waiting for him at the Liberty Stadium."

Elite Performance Director, Andrew Hore, added:

"It is always a terribly sad thing when a playing career is cut short because of injury so we all feel for Lyndon who has had to face up to this reality. A tremendous servant to the Ospreys since our inception, he is a fantastic character who has always brought so much to the environment. Even throughout this injury struggle he always faced up to the challenge in his unique way with a smile on his face, refusing to let it get him down.

"He achieved an awful lot as an Ospreys player, winning two Magners League titles and playing a big part in the historic win over Australia, and is much loved among his peers. He is a big man, with a big heart and a big personality, a true Osprey who deserves the proper recognition for his efforts over the last seven years.

"While we are disappointed that Lyndon is having to make this decision, he will always be an Osprey and I've no doubt that he will be still be a regular visitor around our environment, where he will be warmly welcomed as part of the family."