Panter & Seymour announce retirement

Natalie Seymour in action for England against New Zealand at the 2010 Champions Trophy where England won bronze

182 international caps between them, two England and GB hockey players announce their retirement

Anne Panter #7 – England and Great Britain – 108 international caps

Anne Panter has been playing senior international hockey since the age of 18, making her England debut in August 2002 against China in the Champions Trophy. For the following decade Panter won 108 caps for England and Great Britain and became a familiar sight in the defensive line, competing in two Olympic Games, European Championships, Champions Trophies and a World Cup.

Under the leadership of Head Coach Danny Kerry and Captain Kate Richardson-Walsh she was an integral part of the team, winning two European Championship bronze medals, silver at the 2012 Champions Trophy in Argentina and Olympic bronze at London 2012.

Speaking about her decision to retire from the international scene, Panter said: “It’s been an incredible journey and one which has tested me in ways I couldn’t have imagined. I feel I’ve given my all to being the best I could be and to be able to finish my career on the high of winning an Olympic medal in London, with a very special squad, makes me extremely proud, and fortunate.”

“As much as I will always miss competing, the time is right for me to move on and do other things. I have recently started a career as a trader at Goldman Sachs and am looking forward to the new challenges ahead.”

Despite Panter being such a familiar name with hockey fans, both at an international level and for her club side Leicester, there was a time she thought she would never play hockey again after undergoing a pioneering double operation that involved the reconstruction of the post cruciate ligament in her left knee and a patella tendon debridement. The injury and rehabilitation kept her sidelined for two and a half years between Beijing and London, but against the odds she battled back in time to help England to three more major championship medals.

Speaking about Panter's contribution to the game GB & England Hockey's Performance Director and head coach throughout the time Panter was involved in the programme, Danny Kerry, said: "Anne has been the very embodiment of resilience in the face of adversity and I think she has proved that this quality, perhaps above all others, is the defining variable that leads to success. Overcoming numerous set-backs, Anne's single-minded determination has seen her rewarded with an Olympic medal at London 2012.

Kerry added: “Anne was a fantastic reader of the game, technically accomplished and blessed with an ability to run all day. Always one with a witty quip Anne could provide a timely sense of fun and keep the coaching staff on their toes. I am sure Anne will tear up the financial world as she embarks on a new path in the City of London."

If you would like to request an interview with Anne please call Jennie Byass on 07850 907320 or email jennie.byass@englandhockey.co.uk

Natalie Seymour #9 – England and Great Britain – 74 international caps

Natalie Seymour made her international debut in November 2006 against the Netherlands and between 2006 and 2012 she played 74 times for England and Great Britain winning no fewer than six international medals across all the major championships.

Seymour cites her proudest moment as winning England’s [women] first medal at a World Cup after they claimed bronze in 2010 in Argentina. Alongside that medal, Seymour also has four other bronzes in her collection from the 2009 and 2011 European Championships, the 2010 Commonwealth Games and the 2010 Champions Trophy. Her sixth medal is a silver one, won at the 2012 Champions Trophy in Rosario.

Speaking about her decision to retire from the international scene, Seymour said: It was a huge honour to be part of the England and Great Britain hockey squads. I feel so lucky to have been part of the sport at such an exciting time. Having the opportunity to train full time on the centralised programme was a huge privilege. I learnt a huge amount, taking my hockey further than I ever thought I could. It was an incredible experience and allowed the squad to fulfil their potential and climb the world rankings and it’s great to see that success continuing on.”

She added: “I have so many amazing memories and great friendships, from the international team and my former club teams of Maidstone and Canterbury. It is always tough to make big changes and retiring from hockey is no exception.

Since taking the step back from hockey Seymour is completing a clinical psychology doctorate at Royal Holloway, University of London and is also training and competing in Triathlon at the very top level.

GB & England Hockey Performance Director Danny Kerry was Seymour’s coach throughout her time in the programme. He said: "Natalie is an athlete who I feel was an inspiration to staff and squad alike. Her attitude, commitment and integrity was quite simply an exemplar to all. Natalie took these qualities onto the pitch and was a true warrior, one admired by all her peers.”

Kerry added: “These qualities have led, and I'm sure will continue to lead Natalie to maximise her potential in all walks of life. I wish Natalie the very best in her pursuit of professional success in the field of clinical psychology and as she embarks on competing internationally in her new chosen sport of triathlon."

If you would like to request an interview with Natalie please call Jennie Byass on 07850 907320 or email jennie.byass@englandhockey.co.uk

Presentation to Panter, Seymour and Glenn Kirkham

Both Panter and Seymour will be watching the Maxinutrition Hockey 5s Final at Wembley Arena this Sunday where they, alongside Glenn Kirkham who announced his retirement from international hockey last year, will be recognised for their outstanding contributions to hockey.

Kirkham is still as active as ever in the domestic game and he will be hoping to captain his East Grinstead side to a record sixth consecutive indoor title.

There are still tickets available for Sunday and can be purchased on the day from Wembley Arena. More information is available at englandhockey.co.uk