Olympic hockey champion Danson-Bennett retires due to long-term head injury

England and Great Britain top scorer Alex Danson-Bennett announced her retirement on Thursday after struggling with a serious head injury for the past 18 months.

Alex Danson-Bennett is Great Britain and England women’s all-time joint leading scorer with 115 goals in 306 appearances.   -  england hockey twitter

Great Britain women’s field hockey captain Alex Danson-Bennett announced her retirement from the sport on Thursday following a freak injury.

The 34-year-old was a member of the British team that won gold at the 2016 Rio Olympics where she was the joint top-scorer.

But she has not played since suffering a blow to her head 18 months ago.

Danson-Bennett was on holiday with her boyfriend, now her husband, when she threw back her head and laughed when he told her a joke. She hit her head against a brick wall, sparking a long-term injury.

She tried to regain fitness in a bid to make the British squad for this year’s Olympics in Tokyo and attended a training session last month.

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But Danson-Bennett has now decided to bow out after nearly two decades as a hockey player.

“After a long 18 months but a fabulous 18 years in the sport, it’s the right time for me to retire,” she said.

“It’s been the most incredible journey I could have asked for, but a lot has changed. My head injury has been life-changing, also in terms of my perspective and things that have happened within my family.

“Throughout my career I’ve been 100 percent immersed in being an athlete, but my priorities are different now. All of that means it’s the right time.”

Danson-Bennett is Great Britain and England women’s all-time joint leading scorer with 115 goals in 306 appearances.

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