Surbiton’s Wilkinson retires from international hockey

Surbiton’s Leah Wilkinson has announced her retirement from international hockey with Wales and Great Britain following an outstanding career representing the dragon.

It follows 204 caps, an Olympic bronze medal, four Commonwealth Games appearances and a wealth of other events, captaining Wales since 2018, making her the country’s most capped female sportsperson. She achieved all these accolades all while holding a job as a full-time history teacher.

Speaking about her international career, she said: “It is with a heavy heart that I have decided to retire from international hockey. Having played for Wales for nearly two decades, I know that the time is right, and though I will miss representing Wales an immeasurable amount, I firmly believe that the squad is in a great place and will continue to move up the world rankings.” 

“Reflecting on my time playing for Wales, I have endless memories, from travelling across Russia in a bus to playing in front of thousands of people in the Gold Coast. 

“I have been so lucky; I have travelled the world, played in nine European Championships and four Commonwealth Games, playing against some of the best teams and players in the world. 

“I have been coached by some world class coaches and more important than anything, I have played alongside some incredible women. I would like to thank everyone who have been involved in my journey with Hockey Wales since 2004, I will forever be grateful. 

“Thank you also to my family and friends who have supported me throughout my journey, it’s been a rollercoaster for us all! I will continue to support the team from a distance and wish them the very best.”

She will continue to play her club hockey with Surbiton who added another two wins to their list last weekend with an 8-2 success against East Grinstead and a 3-1 victory over Hampstead & Westminster.

It sees them complete the second phase of the English season on 45 points, 12 clear of their nearest rivals.