Mason prematurely closed the curtain on his promising footballing career this week after a severe clash of heads with Cahill left him fighting for his life when the two sides met in January last year.
Devastated to hear today’s news from Ryan. Competing for a corner is something we’ve done thousands of times and to see those consequences for a top professional like Ryan is heartbreaking. Sending all my love to him and his family, and wishing him the best for the future.— Gary Cahill (@GaryJCahill) February 13, 2018
At the age of just 26, Mason was sadly never able to recover fully from the injury and an outpouring of support for the former Spurs midfielder was reciprocated by the Chelsea captain in his programme column.
Cahill's message read:
"I was devastated to hear that Ryan Mason has retired from professional football this week, I can't even imagine what he's feeling and going through, having to retire at such a young age, and when I heard the news it was heartbreaking.
"Ryan is a lovely guy. I've met him and trained alongside him with England, and it's a horrible situation.
"Challenging for the ball in the air is such a common thing and you never expect consequences like this to come from it. That is when football goes totally out of your thoughts and it becomes about making the best decision for your health.
"I want to spend my best wishes to Ryan and his family. The most important thing in life is your health, and I am sure he will now go on to be successful in whatever he chooses to do next."
Chelsea went on to beat Hull 4-0 in their FA Cup Fourth Round tie but the scoreline was just a byproduct of a touching night for the footballing community.