FORMER York City youth-team goalkeeper Nick Culkin has been forced to retire at the age of 26 because of a knee injury.

Culkin, who has been sidelined at Queen's Park Rangers all season, last played a league game in March 2004 and only made 25 appearances for the Loftus Road club in three years.

He left Bootham Crescent for Manchester United in 1995 without having played a first-team game for the Minstermen.

Culkin then pocketed £250,000 for City when he made his only appearance for the Red Devils as an 89th-minute substitute for the injured Fabien Barthez at Arsenal.

The York-born stopper went on to enjoy loan spells at Hull City, Bristol Rovers and Livingston before signing for QPR on a free transfer.

Updated: 10:36 Wednesday, April 27, 2005