Five members of the England and Great Britain hockey squads have today announced their retirements from international hockey. From the women’s squad, goalkeeper Beth Storry and penalty corner specialist Crista Cullen, both of whom won Olympic bronze at London 2012, have ended their international careers. And from the men’s squad, triple Olympian Ben Hawes, double Olympian Mark Pearn and Ken Forbes have announced their retirements from the very top level of the sport.
Thanking all five athletes for their contributions to the national team, England Hockey Performance Director Danny Kerry said: “Each of these athletes has in their own ways contributed massively to the national teams. The commitment they have each shown is testimony to their characters. We are very grateful for all they have given to the national teams and hockey in this country. I would personally like to wish them well with their future directions in life and I hope they will retain their links with us and the sport.”
For nearly a decade Crista Cullen (pictured right), 27, has been one of the best known stars of the women’s game, representing her country at the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games. A feared penalty corner specialist, the Lincolnshire-born defender has been listed in the World All Stars Team three times – in 2006, 2007 and 2010 – and played a pivotal role in England’s rise up the world rankings. She bows out on the back of winning Olympic bronze at London 2012 where she finished joint top scorer with four goals. Fittingly, she found the back of the net in the last of her 171 international appearances, against New Zealand in Great Britain’s historic 3-1 victory. It was her 56th international strike.
A fierce competitor, Cullen helped England to a first ever World Cup bronze medal in 2010, the Commonwealth Games and Champions Trophy bronze medals in the same year, and four European Championship bronze medals in 2005, 2007, 2009 and 2011, In 2012, she helped Great Britain to the country’s best ever finish at a world level tournament – silver at the Champions Trophy.
Announcing her retirement from international hockey, Cullen said: “After much deliberation I have finally decided to hang up my stick. I would like to say a massive thank you to everyone who played their part in my international career, no matter how big or small. Together as a united squad we were able to be a part of something amazing, of which I am very proud and will remember fondly as I move forward in my new challenges. I have no doubts that the new programme will have same the passion, fight and desire as the last and would like to wish everyone the very best of luck, I will, of course, be watching with interest from afar.”ever finish at a world level tournament – silver at the Champions Trophy.
Keen adventurer Cullen has returned to Kenya, where she spent much of her childhood, to pursue a Marketing and Sales Manager role for one of the leading security companies and exploring her deep passion for conservation, trying to do her part in helping fight the devastating massacre of elephants for ivory.
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