Former England international Ryan Mason has said that he is "looking forward" to the next stage of his career after being forced to retire from professional football at the age of 26.

The midfielder fractured his skull in an accidental collision with Chelsea's Gary Cahil over 13 months ago and despite taking part in training sessions over the last seven months, the latest medical scans have forced Mason to hang up his boots for good.

"A recent CT scan I had flagged up some issues with the brain that probably didn't show up earlier on," Mason to Soccer AM. "It's a decision that's been made for me so it's made it a lot easier.

"It was a shock because the for the last seven or eight months I've been ready to play and just waiting. 

"It happened two weeks ago so I've gone through the emotional side of it with my family," he added. "I'm looking forward to the next chapter [of my career]. I've got to be positive because that's the only way to be."

Mason made 70 first-team appearances for ​Tottenham after working his way through their youth ranks and his impressive performances in the heart of midfield persuaded ​Hull City to spend £13m on the 26-year-old in 2016.

Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino has also reached out and said that their is an open door for Mason to return to north London when he is ready to begin the next stage of his career in the world of football.