After playing 188 games across a 13-year career, Susannah Townsend has retired from international hockey.
A double Olympic medallist and European champion, Susannah made her Great Britain debut in 2008 and went on to play 90 times for the country, her last game coming in the bronze medal match at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics as Team GB beat India 4-3.
That was Susannah’s second appearance at the Games after being part of the team that famously won gold back in 2016, the first time Great Britain’s women had stood on the top step of the Olympic podium. In addition, she was awarded an MBE for that achievement.
The influential midfielder also played 98 times for England and was part of the team that won European gold on home soil in 2015. She picked up another seven medals in an England shirt, including silver and bronze medals at the 2014 and 2018 Commonwealth Games respectively.
“Hockey has given me more than I could have ever dreamt of,” Susannah said.
“It has given me a sense of belonging and acceptance where I have always felt at home. Hockey is my family, it has given me unconditional support and love like I’ve never known, it doesn’t get much better than that. Thank you for helping shape me into the person I am today. I’ve truly had the time of my life.
“I wish the GB women’s hockey team the best of luck for the future. I’ll be your biggest fan as always.”
Ed Barney – Great Britain Hockey’s Performance Director – added: “Susannah has been an inspiration to the squad – a true diamond who has left an indelible mark on England and Great Britain Hockey.
“Susannah’s commitment, drive and unwavering passion for the team is unsurpassed and it has been a delight to see her in such enviable form over the past year. It has not always been easy and Susannah’s commitment to strive through the challenging times and graft through various injuries has been an example to all.
“Her impact and dominance in midfield will be difficult to replace but we know that Susannah will continue to ‘be with’ the programme in many ways over the coming years.”
Former England and Great Britain women’s Head Coach Mark Hager also said: “Having coached against Susannah for many years I always admired her fighting spirit, it wasn’t until I had the pleasure to see first-hand how much this fighting spirit meant to her team-mates as well as staff. A never say die attitude no matter how the match was transpiring can only be admired.
“The laughter Susannah bought to the group was infectious and I know the staff and her team-mates will miss not having her around; her ability to bring a group together was valued so much by the staff and players. She was always looking for ways to ensure everyone felt included in whatever activity she was involved in.
“On a personal note, I can’t thank Susannah enough for making contact occasionally to make sure I was ok. I will always look back fondly of my time coaching Susannah – I learnt a lot from such a beautiful person and wish her well in her future endeavours.”
England and Great Britain Hockey would like to thank Susannah for her tremendous service and we wish her all the very best for the future.