The 32-year-old has hung up his boots after suffering his fourth ACL injury in October which ruled him out for the remainder of the 2023/24 season.

Racine first joined the Rebels in a coaching role at the Development Centre in July 2017 after being forced into another long-term break from playing after sustaining his third serious knee injury earlier that year while playing for Forest Green Rovers. He made his long-awaited debut for the club in March 2018 against Dulwich Hamlet and went on to make 139 appearances in Red, scoring nine times while leading from the back.

“I think there are other priorities in my life now that I think need to take a front seat and sort of park the bus on this part of my life” – Racine

The Rebels’ defensive stalwart was named in the 2021/22 Isthmian Premier Division Team of the Season as he captained the championship-winning squad, earning promotion to the sixth tier. He had another taste of silverware with the Rebels in 2023 when he captained the side to their Sussex Senior Cup triumph over Bognor Regis.

Aarran Racine lifting the Sussex Senior Cup trophy with Will Tillman last summer.

Racine commented: “Ever since I’ve been here, there was always ambition in the club to go and win the league. It was a bit unfortunate that it happened so late in terms of Covid, but that also made it a bit sweeter when we did get it.”

He started his career at Southampton, joining their academy at under-15s and signed a professional contract in October 2008. After several years at St Mary’s he was released in May 2012 and that summer he signed for then Conference club, Forest Green Rovers, initially on a three-month contract before earning himself a permanent move in September.

The highlight of his time at The New Lawn was undoubtedly leading them out at Wembley in the 2016 National League promotion final as captain. “Obviously walking out at Wembley as captain was a big moment for me,” Racine said, “unfortunately we lost the game but it’s something I look back on and cherish those moments.

Aarran Racine leading out Forest Green Rovers for their 2016 National League Play-Off Final against Grimsby Town. Photo credit: David Tinkler.

The 32-year-old now embarks on a new business venture, continuing on from his coaching background as he looks to start new youth fitness classes at AR Coaching –

Aarran’s aim at AR Coaching is to guide young adults to become the best versions of themselves; to nurture the complete growth of teenagers – psychologically, physically, and academically – in the realm of health and fitness. Just as he led by example during his footballing career, Aarran aims to create a culture of discipline, hard work, and perseverance at his fitness classes to help propel young adults towards achieving their fitness and wellness goals.

“During my time here, when I first started, I started doing some gym classes for kids and I think I’m going to go back to that in the short term and try to keep myself busy that way.”

Gallery: Racine’s Career in Pictures
Gallery3 months ago

Racine hopes to return to the club soon in a coaching capacity, “I would love to stay and coach in some capacity, whether it be now or in the near future. I did want to get involved with the youth teams here but it doesn’t quite fit with what days they train and family commitments at home. But, I don’t think I’ll rule that out and I think at some point I’ll get back into it in some capacity.”

Everyone at the club wishes Aarran the best of luck in his retirement and for his future endeavours.