Carl Rimmer says he feels grateful to still be healthy having been forced to retire following a stroke.
The Exeter prop, 32, collapsed at training in January three days after nicking an artery in a scrum session.
“It was the best part of my life, a really incredible six years,” Rimmer said of his time at the Chiefs.
“But there’s no doubt about it, I’m just going to walk away grateful with my health and cherish the memories while I was here.”
Rimmer joined the club in 2012 from Cornish Pirates, having been a standout performer in their run to that year’s Championship play-off final, which they lost to London Irish.
He went on to play more than 100 times for Exeter and helped the club win their first ever Premiership title in 2017, as well as the 2014 Anglo-Welsh Cup final.
“There was a 50-50 chance and three-month point where they’d address everything and find out if it had healed correctly,” Rimmer told BBC South West about his hopes of returning to the sport.
“But fortunately the decision was taken out of my hands at that moment. The artery hadn’t healed correctly so the medical advice was to stop there and then.”