Retiring Reading FC Women’s striker Brooke Chaplen believes that her age has helped her come to terms with hanging up her boots.

Chaplen has played over 100 games for the Royals since arriving in 2016, but medical experts have recommended she retire due to a bone tumour.

Her last match for the side was a 4-0 defeat to Manchester City, but it did not put a dampener on the 33-year-old’s day as she was awarded a signed shirt and given a standing ovation by everyone in the SCL Stadium.

Speaking to the club after the game, she said: “It's a very emotional time and I was desperately trying not to cry as I walked in between everyone - but the support that I've had from everyone has been incredible.

“It's been a really tough six months, just to share that moment with my family, friends, and even some players for City. It was a lovely way to say goodbye.

“It's not an ideal situation. With my age, I've done other things outside of football, which I think it makes that transition a lot easier. I've been studying for the last couple of years, and I graduated last week so there's other things going on.

“Had this situation come about when I was 25/26, would I have spoken so positively about such a bad situation? Probably not.”

Formerly an England Under-21 international, Chaplen is looking forward to taking some time out from the game to enjoy spending time with loved ones but insists she will return to the game in the future.

She concluded: “What happens next? I’m not sure. But in the immediate future I’m going to take some time this summer to see my family. Now I don’t have football on the weekends we can go out, go on holiday, just spend more time with the people closest to me.

“Then hopefully one day you’ll see me around women’s football in the future.”