England and Great Britain midfielder Jennie Bimson has officially confirmed her decision to retire from international hockey with immediate effect.

The 31-year-old midfielder calls time on an international career spanning 11 years in which she earned 198 caps for England and Great Britain with only injury cruelly robbing her of reaching the 200 cap milestone – a torn calf muscle sustained during the 2-1 defeat of New Zealand in the Pool stages of the Beijing Olympics forcing her premature departure from the Games.

Since making the first of her 155 senior England appearances against Germany in November 1997 Bimson has featured for England at three Commonwealth Games (1998, 2002, 2006), three European Championships (2003, 2005, 2007), three World Cups (1998, 2002, 2006) and in the 2002 Champions Challenge. 

This year Jennie achieved her lifetime ambition when she played for Great Britain at the Olympic Games, where she won the last of her 43 GB caps in that match with New Zealand.

 “I have lived the dream for the past 11 years in representing my country,” she said as she announced her retirement. 

 “I have been fortunate to play hockey across five continents and it has been an incredible journey for me.

 “Now, however, is the right time for me to retire. Appearing at the Beijing Olympics was a lifetime’s ambition come true and the memories of the event will live with me forever.”

Bimson was quick to credit those who have helped her during an illustrious career that has seen her win two Commonwealth silver medals as well as Commonwealth bronze, two European bronze medals and gold at the 2002 Champions Challenge.

 “I could not have had a successful career without the help of so many different people,” she said.

 “There are too many people to mention who have helped me and I am so grateful for everyone’s assistance and support.

 “I have also been very fortunate to have made so many friends through hockey and look forward to continuing to staying in touch with them.”

One of those who has seen Bimson’s extraordinary career first hand is England and Great Britain women’s coach Danny Kerry who was quick to praise the Leicester player: “Jennie has been a tireless servant to the international program for over a decade.  She has consistently brought an energy to the group and to the pitch which will be sorely missed.

“One of my lasting memories of Jennie will be the Argentina match at the Beijing Olympic Games where she was instrumental in helping the team to suffocate the world’s best player Luciana Aymar.  The way Jennie started that game epitomized the spirit she has brought to her international career.  I am sure this vitality will see Jennie succeed in her chosen career working in sports/media publicity.”

Bimson will continue to play in the Slazenger England Hockey League for Leicester this season with whom she has previously won two silver medals playing in the European Club Championships, as well as concentrating on her full-time career in sports public relations with Macesport.

Source: England Hockey