There is no easy way to say it, but I am retiring from football at the end of the current WSL season.

Taking the decision to retire, is such a difficult thing to do. Whilst age comes to every player, it makes it no easier having to say the words out loud. Football has been my life; my passion and I have loved the career I have had.

I would like to thank every teammate I have ever played with; I have continued to learn every day and appreciate the support each has given me and the friendships I have made along the way. To my managers, coaches and all the staff that I have worked with and under, I appreciate the time, effort and work you have dedicated to improving my game and the standards of women’s football.

It has been an honour and a privilege to represent Sunderland, Leeds Utd, Arsenal and to have been on the incredible journey that I have been on, with Manchester City over the past ten years.

I will always be humbled to have made so many domestic appearances, to have captained my country and to have represented England and Team GB in so many international tournaments. I will always be very proud of everything that I have achieved in the game.

To all the fans, I have never taken your support for granted. The special feeling of hearing ‘Super Steph’ will forever live with me.

Whilst I have been lucky to have had special moments on the pitch,  it gives me a lot of satisfaction what the game has achieved off the pitch during my career.

The game has moved so quickly from amateur to professional over the last twenty years. I thank the trailblazers that came before me, for your perseverance and commitment to effecting change for my generation.

I hope that I leave the game in a better place than when I started, and that I have contributed in some small way to giving the girls of tomorrow a better future in football.

My biggest thanks, appreciation and love belongs to my husband and inspiration, Stephen, my mam, my dad, my brother Stuart, the rest of my family, Matthew Buck, and all my closest friends for your love, guidance, understanding and support – it has been my constant.

I am excited for whatever comes next but, in the meantime, I remain focused on giving everything I have left for Manchester City, over the next two months.

Thank you

Steph x