Mark Gleghorne: Northern Ireland-born forward announces international retirement

Mark Gleghorne played 164 times for Great Britain over nine years
Mark Gleghorne played 164 times for Great Britain over nine years

Northern Ireland-born Mark Gleghorne has announced his retirement from international hockey.

Gleghorne made 80 appearances for Ireland before switching allegiances to England and Great Britain in 2008.

The 35-year-old played in two World Cups for England and represented Team GB at the 2016 Olympics.

"I just felt it was my time," said Gleghorne, who is set to take up a teaching role at the Royal Belfast Academical Institution.

"While my decision to retire wasn't due to any one single reason, my body was a major factor.

"It's a strange feeling. Hockey has been a huge part of my life so I will definitely miss being a hockey player, but I'm equally glad that I won't have to do another fitness test."

International switch

Mark Gleghorne
Mark Gleghorne (left) was a key player for Ireland before he switched allegiance 12 years ago

Gleghorne won the inaugural Men's EuroHockey Nations Trophy with Ireland in 2005 before switching allegiances in 2008.

The Antrim native helped England to fourth-placed finishes at the 2014 and 2018 Men's Hockey World Cups. With Great Britain he won the 2017 Sultan Azlan Shah Cup.

"Mark quite simply was 'all-in'," said England and GB men's head coach Danny Kerry.

"He would be first on his team-mates' list for having your back and giving absolutely everything.

"It's for those reasons that Mark has the utmost respect of his peers and coaches alike and had such incredible longevity in the international game.

"He will be an incredible asset in his new role back in Northern Ireland and I wish him all the best for his future career."