National League Muscular Dystrophy UK Premiership England and Aspire star Charlie Kitcher announces retirement Charlie Kitcher, one of the countries most decorated Powerchair Football players, has announced his plans to retire at the end of the 2018/19 season. Charlie's Statement: "The time has come for me to “hang up my boots”. I’m extremely proud of everything the team and I have accomplished over the past 9 years! I’m gutted we never managed to cross the line, but I have every faith in the team to turn that around in May in Finland and in Australia, 2021! I’ve played for so long and loved every minute of it, however my priorities in life have changed over the last year and I don’t have the time to dedicate myself to the sport as much as I used to be able to and certainly not as much as my England Colleagues do. The standard at England camps has got better at every camp - this is down to the hard work and dedication of each and every player and it’s been a joy to watch, train and compete with you all. Thank you to all the England coaches for your support and help over the years! I wish you all every success in the future and I’ll be your No. 1 fan watching you at the Euros, in May and the World Cup in 2021. Bring it home boys. This is also the right time to let you know I won’t be playing club football from the end of this season either. Thank you to everyone at the WFA for all of your hard work and dedication to grow this sport, to each and every player, carer and family member for making it such an incredible 13/14 years and to the Aspire Hub for everything you have done for me and our club! On a personal note, none of it would have been possible without my Dad and Sarah taking me to hundreds of games and training sessions and definitely wouldn’t be have been possible without Steve Pearson and Jon Bolding teaching me everything there is to know about football! Thank you." History / Achievements: WFA Premier League Winner on 7 occasions WFA Cup Winner on 5 occasions 2011 FIPFA World Cup – Runner Up (France) 2017 FIPFA World Cup – Third Place Finish (USA) 2014 EPFA Nations Cup – Runner Up (Ireland) Jon Bolding: “What can I say about Kitcher….. a lot but I would probably be here all day. I can’t lie, when I heard the news he was retiring it made me a little emotional. I have grown up with Kitch and we have so many great memories together; from winning the league to our last England tournament in Florida. Kitcher has always brought something different to the pitch, his ability has been second to none. We built up a connection where he knew what I was doing before I did. I am really going to miss him, but I do wish him all the best in the future and I’m sure he will smash all he is aiming to achieve in the future.” Steve Pearson: “I have had the privilege of knowing and coaching Charlie from a 12-year-old lad and continued with him on his journey throughout his playing career as an Aspire player and an England regular. Although some might say Charlie could be some what annoying as a young player showing everyone his ‘skills’ it was never in doubt with his technical ability, intelligence and understanding of the game that he would become a top player respected around the world. I will personally miss him massively being part of the England team, not only for his playing abilities but also as the person, I wish him all the very best.” Chris Gordon: “I’ve known Charlie for a number of years and have enjoyed many great moments playing with him for England, and also many great battles playing against him in the National League. As a player he is a nightmare to play against, his footballing knowledge and understanding of the game are second to none. He always finds a way to break up the play and get his team on the attack. I was saddened to hear that Charlie had decided to withdraw from the England squad ahead of the European Championships. We’ve certainly lost a great player and character amongst the squad but it’s also created a great opportunity for someone’s to step up and begin their own England journey. Enjoy your retirement Chaz!” David Lewis: “Charlie has been a fantastic servant to the National squad, representing the side over a number of years and across a number of different tournaments. Predominantly a wide player, he made the position his own with great game awareness, intelligence and skill. He will be missed on the pitch but I hope he can still be part of the sport as he has a lot to offer.” Brad Bates: “Where to start with Charlie, he’s played such a pivotal role in the development of Powerchair Football by representing club and country for such a long time. He’s always had incredible flair and technique on the ball as well as being a great reader of the game.” Marcus Harrison: "When I first came into the England squad Charlie had already been with the lads for a few years and being a fellow Evertonian helped me settle in really well. He gave me some really good tips as we play in the same position so it's sad to see him retire from the squad. I wish him the best of luck with whatever he decides to do in the future." Sam Smith: "At England he was always someone I was grateful to have on our team. As a Thunder player I knew what a fierce competitor he was, as well as one of the cleverest players in the league. Charlie was always someone you could rely on to provide good humour." Everyone at the WFA would like to wish Charlie the very best for the future.