Marvin Williams is not calling time on his football career just yet, but the former Millwall striker is inching very close.

The 27-year-old has been released by Sutton United by mutual consent after suffering a recurrence of a long-term Achilles injury that has restricted him to just a handful of appearances in the past 15 months.

But Williams is not bitter about the career-threatening injury, and while he faces up to a year’s rehabilitation he takes with him a gratitude for a career that – so far – has lasted almost 10 years.

In that time, Williams has experienced the highs of promotion and the lows of relegation, the misery of long-term injury and the joy of fatherhood.

News Shopper:

Fond memories: Marvin Williams scored 17 goals in 65 Sutton United appearances Picture: Paul Loughlin

“The doctors have told me there’s a weakness in my Achilles, so I need to take football and the pressure of getting fit out of the equation to give it the time it needs to heal, and then take it from there,” he said.

“If I get to a stage when I feel I can come back, it will need to be at a level where I can train only once a week and play on Saturdays.

“But there are other things in my life, like my coaching and family, so it’s just a case of seeing where we are when the time comes round.”

He added: “I’m 27 but I probably have the body of a 30-year-old. I know I would miss the game immensely, but it’s a case of whether my body can take it anymore.

“Ultimately I still want to run around with my little boy when I’m older.

“I was gutted when it was clear the injury was a long-term issue, but if someone had said to me 10 years ago you will make 100 odd appearances, get to play in front of thousands of people, win leagues etc, I would have snapped their hand off.

“I will miss the game loads if I do not go back, but I am so grateful for my time in it, but there is so much now for me to do.”

News Shopper:

Never the same: Williams never quite felt right after making his comeback at the beginning of this season. Picture: Paul Loughlin

Williams, who works for Ultimate Coaching, signed pro forms at Millwall in 2005 before his career took him to 10 clubs including Brentford, where he won the League Two title in 2009, Ostersunds in Sweden and ultimately Sutton United.

“Getting my pro contract at Millwall remains a huge highlight, as does scoring on my full debut against Everton in the FA Cup in 2005,” he said.

“Winning the league with Brentford was amazing, but I also owe a huge amount to everyone at Sutton United.

“The management team, the fans and the staff have all been so good to me during my injury.

“But more than anything, I must pay tribute to the physios, Catherine and Bob, who not only helped with the physical side of my rehabilitation, but the psychological side too.

“When I had down days, they were there for me and for that I am forever grateful.”

News Shopper:

Bees days: Williams won the 2009 League Two title with Brentford

He added: “It says a lot about the club that they stuck by me and supported me, and I desperately hope they win promotion.”

Williams initially picked up the injury in the pre-season friendly against Fulham 15 months ago.

However, a specialist failed to pick a tear in his Achilles and with an injection he continued playing until a second specialist spotted the problem, and Williams was out of action for the entire season.

Upon his return, all was going well until the first home game of the Vanarama Conference South against Havant.

“Against Havant, I felt it twinge but it didn’t feel so bad. I have been told that there’s a lot of scar tissue in there, and that scar tissue doesn’t have any nerve endings, so I thought the injury was not as bad,” he said.

“But looking back, that was the moment it went again and each match from there I was not feeling great.

“There’s no real timetable about getting back, but it could be up to 12 months.”

Although Williams is not yet hanging up his boots indefinitely, he already knows the memories and friendships that will last long in the mind, and how he has become the footballer he is.

“When I started playing professional football, I thought that was enough for me,” he said.

“Every footballer wants to win things of course, but you never know what is going to happen.

“So I’d never envisaged winning the title with Brentford – it was a massive achievement, and for me being part of something so great, to have the experience of the celebrations and lifting the trophy was fantastic.

“I remember spending a few days after the celebrations feeling the worse for wear, but that was part of the experience.”

But there were times when Williams’ young naivety got him into trouble, and he needed people around him to guide him through.

“When I was learning my trade at Millwall, I was the boot boy for Jody Morris and Dennis Wise,” he said.

“Jody was great for me, especially when Millwall were struggling and the fans were getting on our backs, he always had a good word to say to me.”

He added: “And he taught me a lot about life as a footballer, I remember doing an interview with The Sun and they completely twisted my words.

“It was the first time I experienced just how cruel the press could be. Jody sat me down and told me how to deal with the press.

“He knew I was a genuine person, but taught me that journalists are trying to sell newspapers and they will find controversy wherever they can.”