Nuneaton Born Defender Retires

3 June 2019, 09:24 | Updated: 3 June 2019, 09:29

Laura Bassett

Former England defender Laura Bassett has announced her retirement from football.

Bassett, 35, whose former clubs included Birmingham and Chelsea, made 61 appearances for England after starting her career at Coventry.

"Happy retirement day to me," Bassett announced on Twitter. "Obvious to most, but found closure, peace and gratitude in writing it down in my own words! Here's to the future!"

Bassett, born in Nuneaton, joined Coventry aged 14 and in 2000 moved on to Birmingham, where she became captain.

She made her senior England debut against Italy in 2003 and appeared in the FIFA Women's World Cups in 2011 and 2015 and the Women's European Championships in 2013.

In the 2015 World Cup semi-final against Japan, Bassett inadvertently lobbed the ball into her own net in stoppage-time while attempting a clearance to seal the Lionesses' 2-1 defeat.

Bassett appeared to refer to the incident in an open letter, saying football "one time in particular... dragged me to my knees and rocked me to the core".

"I doubted whether I would trust you (football) again but you allowed me to confront my human nature," Bassett said.

Bassett, who gave birth to a baby daughter last December, added: "It has been a privilege to play a tiny part in Lioness history and to have experienced the progression of women's football in England.

"I am beyond proud to belong to the Lioness alumni.

"I have been fortunate to win silverware throughout my career and be part of wonderfully talented teams."

Bassett, whose partner is Orlando Pride manager Marc Skinner, finished her club career with Australian side Canberra United in 2018.