Rachel Brown-Finnis has today announced her retirement from football, an Everton Club statement revealed.
England international Brown-Finnis,34, will retire with immediate effect, but will remain at the club as an ambassador.
Brown-Finnis said: “It was a tough decision. To be honest, it is something that I have been considering over the past 18 months or so and it is simply down to the amount of pain I suffer with my knee and back over the course of a season. It’s down to whether I can continue to withstand that pain after every training session.
“It is emotional for me but I think now is the right time.”
Since joining Everton in 2003 Brown-Finnis has won the FA Cup, finished runner up in the top flight five times as well as representing her country in two World Cups and the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
She also became one of the first female England internationals to be awarded a central contract by the FA.
Now moving in to her new role as the first ever Everton Ladies ambassador, she will look to use here achievements to inspire a new generation of footballers coming in to Ladies football.
She said: “We are in new territory. A former player staying on at the Club as an ambassador has never been done before.
“I am really proud to say that role has been offered to me by Andy Spence and Everton Football Club. I’ve played for the Club for over 12 years and I also spent seven years with Everton in the Community, so I do have a massive affinity with this Club.
“Anything I can do, with my experience on and off the pitch, I would just love to give that back to a Club that has given me so much.”