West Ham Women defender Claire Rafferty to retire


England international and West Ham defender Claire Rafferty will retire from football at the end of the season.

Rafferty joined West Ham last season and helped them reach an FA Cup final in their first full season as a fully professional club. The Hammers’ match against Brighton tomorrow will be Rafferty’s last as a professional.

Speaking about her decision to hang up her boots, Rafferty told the club website:

“It has not been an easy decision to make; I love playing football and it will be strange to not do this every day after this weekend, but I feel this is the right time for me to move into the next stage of my life.

“Helping West Ham get to their first ever FA Cup Final was an honour, and what a way to sign off my career.”

The England international, who won a bronze medal at the 2015 World Cup, was at Chelsea for 11 years where she won the WSL on three occasions as well as two FA Cups.

“I’ve been fortunate enough to win two doubles in an eleven-year spell with Chelsea, make over 100 league appearances in the WSL and also represent my country.”

In her official statement, Rafferty said:

“I hope I have helped inspire the next generation of girls dreaming of becoming a footballer

“I hope that I have helped change the landscape of the women’s game and will continue the fight for equality from a different angle.”

Rafferty will be part of the talkSPORT team who are broadcasting the Women’s World Cup in France this summer from 7 June to 7 July.


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