Former England women defender Laura Bassett has announced her retirement from football at the age of 35, praising the sport for allowing her to "project my real personality" and helping her to "understand who I am and what I stand for".


Having started her senior career at Coventry while still at school, Bassett has played for Birmingham, ​Arsenal, Leeds, ​Chelsea and Notts County, as well as two spells abroad in the United States and Australia.

Laura Bassett

She made her England debut in 2003 and was selected for five major tournaments, including Euro 2009, where the Lionesses were runners-up to Germany, and the 2015 World Cup that yielded a third place finish after victory over the same opposition in the third/fourth playoff.


Bassett was a starter for England in 2015, but it was her unfortunate late own-goal that cruelly sent the Lionesses crashing out at the hands of Japan at the semi final stage - her tears on the pitch were likened to those shed by Paul Gascoigne at the 1990 World Cup.

Laura Bassett,Jo Potter

She directly addressed the moment in a statement released on Twitter.


"Thank you football for giving me the opportunity to show my vulnerability, the highs and the lows, for the friends and foes, for the heroes and the villains," Bassett wrote.


"You presented me with the chance to own who I am. I will be forever grateful.


"One time in particular you dragged me to my knees and rocked me to the core. I doubted whether I would ever trust you again, but you allowed me to confront my human nature and show my character. This gesture will last forever. I now look back at my 31-year-old self and I am so proud of the courage and vulnerability I showed in that moment. I showed up!"

Bassett offered thanks to all the teammates, coaches and support staff she has worked with in her career, as well as her parents, brother and partner, Marc Skinner, who was manager of Birmingham Women until being appointed the new head coach of Orlando Pride earlier this year.


With Skinner, Bassett gave birth to a daughter in December last year and said she hopes to "...inspire her by sharing so many incredible stories of the trailblazers that Mummy proudly shared a dressing room with."