Reading midfielder Brooke Chaplen has announced her retirement from football after undergoing surgery to remove a tumour from her leg, bringing an end to her 17-year playing career.
Chaplen is a stalwart of the women's game and has featured in every WSL season since its formation in 2011, turning out for Everton, Sunderland and Reading - who she signed for in 2017.
It was announced in February that the 33-year-old was set for an extended spell on the sidelines after being diagnosed with a bone tumour in her fibular. The operation to remove the tumour was successful, but the loss of knee ligaments as a result of the procedure means that Chaplen has had to call time on her playing career.
"At the end of January, I found out that I had a tumour at the top of my fibula and, due to the likelihood of it being cancerous, it would need to come out," Chaplen told Reading's official club website upon announcing her retirement.“I’m pleased to say the operation was successful, and it was removed. Scans today show there is no sign of it left, which is obviously great news.
“Unfortunately, the procedure I had to have meant that a couple of knee ligaments which were attached to that point weren’t able to be saved. As a result, I was advised that moving forward playing football now wouldn’t be an option for me.
“I’ve been here a long time now and I feel part of the furniture - I have some great memories. From scoring my first goal against Liverpool to battling the likes of Manchester United for the top three spot.
“I feel like my ability as a player has been massively developed here and that’s huge credit to Kelly and all the coaching staff at Reading for all the time and resource they invested in me. “I’d like to think I now embark on a new path in football. I feel like I’ve got a lot to give with the experiences I’ve had within women’s football."