Jodie Taylor: Former England striker says it is a ‘full circle moment’ to end career at Arsenal

28 September 2023 0 By Total Football News

Jodie Taylor of ArsenalTaylor scored seven goals in 20 league appearances for Arsenal across two spells

Former England forward Jodie Taylor has announced her retirement from football.

Taylor played in six different countries and she ends her career after spending the second half of last season with Arsenal.

The 37-year-old scored 19 goals in 51 appearances for the Lionesses, winning the Golden Boot at Euro 2017.

“I am at peace with the decision to retire and it’s my choice,” Taylor told BBC Sport.

“I think [that] is really important. [It’s] really fortunate that I’m in the position to make that decision for myself.”

A Champions League winner with Lyon, Birkenhead-born Taylor started her senior career aged 15 with Tranmere Rovers before moving to America on a college scholarship to play football.

She played for three clubs during her time stateside, before a two-year spell with Australian club Melbourne Victory.

After scoring 12 goals in 21 games Taylor was signed by Birmingham City, with whom she won the FA Cup in 2012.

Following returns to Australia and the USA, plus a stint in Sweden, Taylor joined Arsenal in 2016 for her first spell at the club.

Time in Sweden and France followed, but when Taylor returned to the Gunners in March this year she said it felt like she “never left” and went on to make eight league appearances.

“I think before I even stepped foot on the plane to go to Arsenal at the end of last season I kind of knew it was going to be my last stint playing,” she said.

“It’s a club that I love so much and respect so much, and to have the opportunity to be back there and them to welcome me knowing it was going to be my last game, it’s pretty special.”

“I’m happy that the time has come now – it’s the right time.”

Reaching the ‘pinnacle’ with Lyon

Jodie TaylorTaylor made two appearances, including coming off the bench in the final, as Lyon won the Champions League

Winning the 2019-20 Champions League final with Lyon ranks high among Taylor’s career highlights.

“That was brilliant. In terms of club and domestic football I think that’s the pinnacle, the absolute best you can do in football,” she said.

That Champions League medal was made all the more special by events which unfolded beforehand.

Taylor was only supposed to spend the first half of the season with the French side and wanted to stay when her deal expired in December, but she said the club refused to extend her contract.

“We had a farewell party, all of these goodbyes, had a send off, gave a speech to the team, cried in front of the team, they gave me a jersey, photos, wrote nice messages in the WhatsApp group, exited the WhatsApp group,” Taylor said.

“Then a group of the core players at Lyon, some of the best players in the world, went to the club and fought for me and said ‘we need to keep her, we need everyone, she’s great for the team’.

“I was about to get on a flight and check my bags through and they said ‘the players have come to the club and the president has changed his mind – we’ll see you back in two weeks’.”

‘I’m really proud I stuck with it’

Jodie TaylorTaylor scored a hat-trick against Australia on her England debut

Despite spending time at some of the best clubs in the world, Taylor didn’t make her England debut until she was 28 years old.

“I must say, the proudest moment of my career is being resilient, being persistent, still working hard, still having the belief that I could play for England,” she said.

Taylor’s first experience of playing international football at a major tournament came at the 2015 Women’s World Cup, where she scored against Canada in the quarter-finals as England finished third overall.

She went on to score a hat-trick against Scotland before adding two more to win the Golden Boot at the Women’s European Championships in 2017 – the same year she was named England’s player of the year.

Taylor added: “Being able to get my first cap at 28 is quite rare, so I’m really proud that I stuck with it and I was able to get in there, and then all the other experiences I had with the Lionesses.”

Having completed her Uefa coaching licence as well as a master’s degree in sport and directorship, Taylor has kept her options open and plans to keep working in football.

“Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought that the game will be where it’s at now,” she said.

“I love football, I love the women’s game especially and I really want to stay in football.”

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