Reading FC Women captain, Kirsty Pearce has decided to retire from professional football at the age of 32, leading the Royals out for the last time as they ended their season against Chelsea last weekend.
Her career with Reading began in 2014 - her first professional club – after joining the Royals from part-time side, Portsmouth. Pearce captained the team to promotion into the FA WSL 1 and has led them since.
Pearce reached the milestone of 100 appearances for the Royals in November 2018 against Bristol City.
Manager, Kelly Chambers said: “I still remember the day I spoke to Kirsty on the phone, trying to pull her away from Portsmouth, a club that she has been at for so many years.
“It was one of the best phone calls that I had at that time. For the direction that the club was going in Kirsty was a big signing for us, and helped to take the club forward and push on as we have.
Today is the last time our Captain will walk the team out...— Reading FC Women (@ReadingFCWomen) May 10, 2019
Happy Retirement Kirsty 💙 pic.twitter.com/SkozPiyVDF
“Since then, Kirsty has become a true professional and been a massive part of this club’s development - winning trophies along the way and being a true captain to myself and the team.
“She has been a great person to have around and has really helped the club develop. I cannot thank Kirsty for all the time and effort she has put into this football club.
“Not only all the hours of training, but all the hours of travelling from Portsmouth too. I will forever be grateful and thankful for everything that she has done.
“Kirsty has become a big part of this football club, and it’s really sad that it has come to the day where she has decided to hang up her boots.
“She has had a fantastic career and probably never dreamt of being a professional footballer, but she has really embraced the challenge and for that we have really seen her blossom as a player.”