Karen Bardsley: Man City and England goalkeeper announces retirement

Karen Bardsley has announced her retirement from football

England and Manchester City goalkeeper Karen Bardsley has announced her retirement from professional football.

The 37-year-old is bringing the curtain down on a lengthy career that included 82 England caps.

Bardsley said: “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, that 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.”

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Born in the US to British parents, Bardsley made her full England debut in 2005 and was involved at seven major tournaments, including the 2009 European Championship – when England lost in the final – and the 2012 London Olympics.

She was named in FIFA’s ‘all-stars squad’ after the 2015 World Cup when England finished third.

Bardsley played her club football in the US and Sweden until 2013, when she signed for Lincoln, before moving to City at the end of that season.

The tall stopper quickly became a key part of the City team, winning the Women’s Super League title in 2016 along with three FA Cups and four League Cups, but injury contributed to her becoming an increasingly peripheral figure in recent years.

City head coach Gareth Taylor said: “Karen has left an undeniable mark on women’s football and I believe that 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.

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“She deserves all the plaudits that she receives, and I would like to wish her the very best for the future and the next step of her journey.”

Bardsley will be honoured at City’s final home of the WSL season against Birmingham on Wednesday.

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