Fara Williams announces her retirement from football

Fara Williams announces her retirement from football at the age of 37 as England’s most capped player EVER, male or female, prepares to hang up her boots at the end of the season following a 20-year playing career

  • Fara Williams has announced her retirement from football at the age of 37 
  • The Reading midfielder will hang up her boots at the end of the season 
  • Williams is England’s most capped player, male or female, with 172 appearances

Fara Williams has announced she has taken the ‘difficult’ decision to retire from professional football at the end of the season following a 20-year playing career.

Williams, who is England’s most capped player, male or female, started her career at Chelsea before enjoying spells with Charlton, Everton, Liverpool, Arsenal and Reading – her current club.

The midfielder earned 172 caps for the Lionesses and was part of the squad that won Bronze at the 2015 World Cup in Canada. She also represented Team GB at the 2012 Olympic Games. 

Fara Williams has announced her retirement from professional football at the age of 37

 The midfielder is England’s most capped player, male or female, with 172 appearances

The Reading player will hang up her boots at the end of the season following a 20-year career

Announcing her retirement on Twitter, Williams wrote: ‘After much consideration & despite offers to remain within the game, I have made the difficult decision to retire from professional football at the end of the season. 

‘It has been a pleasure and a privilege to have had a career of more than 20 years within the women’s game.’ 

The 37-year-old revealed in February that she had been diagnosed with a kidney condition called nephrotic syndrome.  

The steroids required to treat the condition led to weight gain and other side effects.

And the midfielder admitted that recovery took a toll both physically and mentally.

Williams made her England debut against Portugal at the age of 17 in 2001. Since then, she has gone on the become England’s most-capped international player of either gender. She represented her country at seven tournaments. 

In her statement, Williams said it has been an ‘honour’ to make the most appearances for England of any player and thanked former Lionesses boss Hope Powell and assistant Mo Marley.

Williams was part of the Lionesses squad who finished third at the 2015 World Cup in Canada 

At club level, the midfielder won back-to-back WSL titles with Liverpool in 2013 and 2014 and she has also won two FA Women’s League Cups and two Women’s Premier League titles. 

In 2016, she was awarded an MBE for her contribution to women’s football. 

Williams, who has spoken about how she was homeless at the beginning of her career, added: ‘I have experienced the rise of women’s football first-hand, with the game turning professional during my career.

‘Playing football is all I have ever known, but I am excited for the next chapter of my life. I look forward to remaining within the game, pursuing opportunities within the media and continuing my coaching badges.’ 




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