Alex Danson-Bennett: Olympic gold medallist retires from hockey

Alex Danson-Bennett: Olympic gold medallist retires from hockey

The former Great Britain captain hit her head on a wall while on holiday in September 2018 and suffered a mild traumatic brain injury, which meant she could not cope with bright light or noise for several months.

Danson-Bennett returned to training with the British set-up last month and was aiming for selection at this summer's Olympics in Tokyo, but has now called time on her career.

"After a long 18 months but a fabulous 18 years in the sport, it's the right time for me to retire," said Danson-Bennett, who won 306 caps for England and Great Britain.

"It's been the most incredible journey I could have asked for, but a lot has changed. My head injury has been life-changing, also in terms of my perspective and things that have happened within my family.

"Throughout my career I've been 100 per cent immersed in being an athlete, but my priorities are different now. All of that means it's the right time.

"I've known over the last couple of weeks that it was a decision I needed to come to. It's difficult because this has been my life.

"It'll be strange moving into something new, but I'm totally thankful and content. I have zero regrets about the way I've lived my career."

Danson-Bennett, who was awarded an MBE for services to hockey in the 2017 New Year Honours, is Great Britain and England women's all-time joint leading scorer with 115 goals in 306 appearances.

Her last game came when she captained England in their World Cup quarter-final loss to the Netherlands in August 2018.

Great Britain hockey performance director Ed Barney added: "Alex is a truly special person. It is impossible to find the right words to reflect how fortunate we have been to have Alex as part of our sport.

"We will miss her hugely both on and off the pitch.

"Having spoken with Alex, we know that she has made an incredibly difficult decision, but one that is right for her. Her achievements in the sport should be an incredible source of pride for her and her family and a motivation to others."

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