05:55PM, Wednesday 15 March 2017
Legendary England and Great Britain women’s hockey captain Kate Richardson-Walsh has been nominated for a place in the European Hockey Hall of Fame.
Richardson-Walsh, who lived in Maidenhead for many years until a recent move to live and work in Holland, won 375 caps in a 17-year international career, culminating in an historic Olympic gold medal for Great Britain’s women’s team in Rio last summer, lining up in the same team as her wife Helen.
She then retired from international hockey at the very pinnacle of her career, having been named flagbearer for Team GB at the Olympic closing ceremony.
The 36-year-old said she is honoured to be nominated for the hall of fame.
"I remember being at the 2013 European Championships in Belgium when the first three people were being inducted into the hall of fame,” she said.
“I looked on thinking ‘wow, they’re legends of the game’, so it’s a big honour that I could join them. At the same time, it’s a bit strange because they’re individual accolades in a team sport.
“To represent your country is very special and something that I will hold dear for the rest of my life.
“To think that if I am inducted into the Hall of Fame, I will be representing a lot of people, and a lot of legends that we have had in the game in England and Great Britain, but I feel there should be more of us in there!”
Having inspired a generation, since Rio she also became an OBE for services to hockey, and was the first hockey player ever to be nominated for BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year Award, finishing sixth overall and the second-highest placed female.
Last week she was invited to 10 Downing Street to help mark International Women’s Day, and was also asked by the United Nations to be in the HeForShe Arts Week.
Wife Helen, who also won gold in Rio, has hinted that her days in the hockey spotlight might also be behind her.
Speaking on the Simon Mayo's Radio 2 show last week she said: “After 17 years in the national squad, I'm not necessarily going to continue in the team.
“My body is screaming at me to stop, but it's difficult as I have been playing for so long.
“At the moment I'm still playing domestically in Holland and just enjoying that.”
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