Manchester City and England goalkeeper Karen Bardsley will retire from professional football at the end of the season, concluding her 20-year career.
Bardsley, who has secured 82 England caps over a 17-year span, reached 2 World Cup semi-finals, was a runner-up at Euro 2009 and was member of the Team GB squad for the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
She has triumphed a WSL title, 3 FA Cups and 4 League Cups with City since uniting with the club in 2013 and will be admired at Wednesday evening’s WSL match versus Birmingham at the Academy Stadium.
Concerning about her decision, she stated, “It was obviously a pretty tough decision for me to make, but after a lot of deliberation and unfortunately being away from the pitch for quite a while now due to injury, it just felt like it was the right moment.”
“As sad and strange as it is to be stepping away from something I’ve committed my entire young adult life to, ultimately it’s something I feel really proud of and I can honestly say, hand on heart, I’ve left no stone unturned and I have no regrets about how I’ve applied myself and what I’ve achieved.”
“I feel incredibly proud of my career, but ultimately I’m really excited about the next steps and what is to come in the future, and I’m just very much looking forward to giving back to the football community in many other ways.”
City head coach Gareth Taylor further said, “Karen has left an undeniable mark on women’s football and I believe her playing career is just the start of the overall impact she will make.”
“Although injury has limited her appearances on the pitch during my time in charge, she has remained an integral member of our team and has made a real difference behind the scenes.”
“She deserves all the plaudits she receives, and I would like to wish her the very best for the future and the next step of her journey.”
At Manchester City, Bardsley triumphed the League Cup in her first season, played an imperative part in the treble-winning year of 2016-17 as City earned the same trophy again apace with the WSL league title and Women’s FA Cup.