PROP forward Chris Siddons has left York City Knights 16 months before the end of his contract.

The club say they have agreed a release request from the 26-year-old due to work and personal commitments.

He will not play for a rival team this season or next due to the terms of his release, but his departure is nevertheless a blow to the squad and leaves them with only five other props on the books, aside dual-reg and loan players.

Siddons, a former England Lions tourist during his amateur days with Castleford club Lock Lane, was an unknown quantity to many on his arrival at York ahead of the 2017 season but he went on to play in 22 of the Knights' 27 matches that year, notching three tries.

Such was his form that he penned a two-year extension until the end of the 2019 season, attracting interest from League One rivals too. He was a regular this season up until the end of May, but has not featured in the past month.

Siddons said: “I would like to thank Jon (Flatman, chairman) and James (Ford, coach) and everyone at the club for an excellent 18 months as a professional player.

“I can’t speak highly enough of the players and staff I worked with and wish them all the very best for the seasons ahead.

“I was under contract for season 2019 and I have agreed in discussion with the club that I will not play professional rugby in that period should a change in circumstances result.

“Thank you to the Knights fans also for their support to me and to my family. I look forward to catching up with everyone and becoming a fan in the stand in the near future.”

The Knights' statement said Siddons had recently obtained a promotion in his day job and these commitments have had a direct influence on his ability to commit fully to rugby.

Club chairman Jon Flatman said: “Chris has been a fantastic player and wonderful person throughout his 18 months at York City Knights.

“While we are disappointed to lose a player of his character and ability, we support and respect his decision.

“Chris is and will always be welcome at our club and we look forward to welcoming him back to the club on match-days.”