FORMER York College student Rachel Daly has announced her retirement from international football.

The 32-year-old has enjoyed an illustrious eight-year career with the Lionesses, with appearances at two World Cups and a EURO 2022 triumph under her belt.

Harrogate-born Daly made her farewell appearance against the Republic of Ireland last night, in which first-half goals from Lauren James and Alex Greenwood sealed a 2-0 triumph for Sarina Wiegman’s side in Dublin.

She has won a total of 84 caps for England, scoring 16 goals along the way, and has played a starring role in their successes over recent years.

Daly, who studied a Diploma in Sport in York, started every game of the Lionesses’ run to the EURO 2022 final, featuring at left-back in the final as they lifted the trophy at Wembley.

She was also a key part of the side that reached a historic Women’s World Cup final last summer, before their eventual defeat to Spain in the final.


The striker confirmed her retirement on social media this morning, saying: “I would love nothing more than to play for England forever, but the time has come for me to hang up my boots on the international stage.

“While today is an extremely difficult day for me, it is also one filled with reflection and immense gratitude. Playing for and representing England has been a privilege.

“During my eight years as a Lioness, I’ve always pursued success and winning football matches, whilst playing and training with the highest standards of competition, passion and perseverance.

“It has been the greatest honour to represent my family, my teammates and the entire country. I have a lot of incredible memories during my time with England that have been pivotal moments.

“Winning the EUROs and then reaching the World Cup final changed a lot for me, not only as a footballer but as a person. I’m so fortunate that I’ve been able to share that with so many remarkable people throughout my journey, I have made special relationships that will last a lifetime.

“I will be eternally grateful to have been given the opportunity to wear the England badge with immense pride over the past eight years.

“I am very fortunate to have played a small part in making history with the Lionesses and I feel now is the right time to pass on that baton to the next generation and be England’s number one fan from the stands!

“I am excited to keep working hard at club level to reach new heights and spend some much needed quality time with my loved ones.

Daly took her first steps onto the international ladder in the WU17 World Cup in 2008. She made her senior debut in 2016, marking the occasion with a goal against Serbia, but had to wait until the 2019 Women’s World Cup to have her first taste of a senior tournament.

Kay Cossington, FA women’s technical director, admitted it was hard to put Daly’s contributions into words.

“She is a phenomenal individual who has been a huge asset to the England team, on and off the pitch,” she said.

"She’s put her heart and soul into every game, playing not only for the badge but playing for every little girl who loves the sport. 

“She’s said that the place will be quieter without her but I actually think it won’t be the same without her. Her talent and charisma will be sorely missed by players and staff.