I’ve nothing left to give – Maddie Hinch calls time on ‘fairytale’ hockey career

Olympic and Commonwealth champion Maddie Hinch has called time on her “fairytale” hockey career after admitting she has “nothing left to give” to the sport.

The 34-year-old goalkeeper made 97 appearances for England and 60 for Great Britain during a 15-year international career.

She helped Britain claim their first Olympic women’s hockey gold at Rio 2016, playing a starring role in the final with four penalty shoot-out saves to deny the Netherlands a third successive title.

Hinch added an Olympic bronze medal to her collection at Tokyo 2020 and also won the Commonwealth title in Birmingham last year – England’s first gold in the event.

Hinch saved four penalties during the shoot out for gold in 2016
Hinch saved four penalties during the shoot out for gold in 2016 (Owen Humphreys/PA)

“I think it just became very, very clear to me that the time was right,” Hinch told the PA news agency on her decision to retire.

“I think the latter part of your career you start to feel a bit differently about things, you start to question where your priorities lie and if your heart is still in it, and over the last year or so I’ve still been very much fully committed to the sport and my job and then all of a sudden it became clear that I’m ready for something new.

“I can no longer give 100 per cent of me to the shirt. I don’t really want to and with that, I’m ready to hand it over and start the next part of my life.”

She added: “I feel like I’ve run out of steam a little bit in terms of what I can give to the shirt and that’s emotionally, mentally, physically the whole lot.

“I wrote (in a statement announcing her decision on Twitter) the tank is empty because that’s how I feel, there’s nothing left to give and that’s really nice because I feel like I’m going away with having given my all over the last 15 years.”

Hinch took a nine-month break from international hockey in 2018 before returning for the Olympics in Tokyo.

She was voted FIH World Goalkeeper of the Year in 2016, 2017 and 2018 and also awarded an MBE in the 2017 New Year Honours list for services to the sport.

“It (playing international hockey) is a huge commitment and dedication,” Hinch said.

“It’s life under the spotlight in every sense of the word.

“For me it was like being part of a bit of a golden era for the sport, to basically win everything.

“It’s like what fairytales are made of, so feeling incredibly grateful to have had the career that I’ve had and to also have the platform to inspire someone else to go after that a little bit as well.”