Reading midfielder and England legend Fara Williams MBE has announced that she will retire from playing at the end of the season.
The 37-year-old midfielder, who is England’s all-time record appearance holder with 172 senior caps, has made the decision that the time is right to hang up her boots after a difficult year which has seen her fitness affected by a kidney condition.
Williams has made 15 appearances for Reading in the Barclays FA Women’s Super League, although she has completed 90 minutes in just four of those outings.
The player took to Twitter earlier this afternoon to confirm her retirement.
After much consideration & despite offers to remain within the game, I have made the difficult decision to retire from professional football at the end of the season.
It has been a pleasure and a privilege to have had a career of more than 20 years within the women’s game ⚽️❤️ pic.twitter.com/Z9YWEcgdzi
— Fara Williams MBE (@fara_williams47) April 26, 2021
Williams’ glittering career has spanned more than two decades. The player first burst onto the scene with a glut of goals for Chelsea before Williams joined Charlton Athletic where she won both Player of the Season and Young Player of the Season awards along with the FA Women’s Premier League Cup in 2004. An eight-year spell with Everton followed where Williams finally got her hands on the Women’s FA Cup before she won back-to-back FA Women’s Super League 1 titles with Liverpool.
Upon leaving Liverpool, Williams headed to Arsenal who she went on to help achieve Women’s FA Cup final glory against Chelsea at Wembley in 2016 before joining latest club Reading the following year.
On the international stage, Williams has enjoyed almost two decades of service for the Lionesses. She was a three-time Cyprus Cup winner but never won a major trophy with her country. Williams was a member of the England team that finished as runners-up at the UEFA Women’s EURO 2009 before helping her nation to a Bronze Medal at the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015. Williams is one of just two players to collect more than 150 senior international caps for England while she is the joint-third highest goalscorer for the Lionesses with 40 goals.
A true legend of the game, Williams can look back on her footballing journey with real pride and she still has plenty to offer the game in the years to come.