STAMFORD’s Tania Bailey has retired from the world squash tour after a series of injuries prevented her return to the top.
The former world junior champion, who began playing aged nine with Stamford Squash Club, has undergone three operations on her knee and one on her hip in recent years, and felt the wear and tear on her body had become too great to play on at the highest level.
The 32-year-old said: “I think it is time to move on. I don’t think this will come as a great shock to many people but I want to let all the people know who have helped me so much over the years.
“My motivation is as strong as ever but my body will not allow me to train and compete at the level I want to.
“The last few years have been extremely tough and I have given it everything I could to try and get back to being one of the best players in the World, but I know what it takes to get to the top of the rankings and deep down I know I just cannot do it anymore.”
Bailey, who was ranked world number four in 2007, skippered her country and has Commonwealth silver and gold medals to her name.
She added: “I have got so many amazing memories and had a lot of unforgettable experiences and I have made so many friends along the way. I have had a great time and I would recommend being a full time squash player to anyone.
“It has been an absolute privilege to able to play full time squash.
“I will miss the tournaments, the travelling, my friends, playing for England and I will even miss the training.”
She now plans to extend her programme of coaching which she has already begun at Hunts County squash club and some regional junior squads.”
Bailey thanked her parents for their support, adding: “I am so grateful for all the encouragement and support they have given me and for always being there.
“I couldn’t have done any of it without them and also a big thankyou to Neil, my brother Mark and sister-in-law Joanne for their amazing support, and for being there through the good and the bad.”
“Thank you to all the people that have contributed to my squash career and helped me along the way, thanks to England squash who have supported me since I first went professional and all the coaches I have worked with over the years, especially to Paul Carter for his neverending belief in me, and thanks to the numerous physiotherapists and support staff who I have worked with.”