After 432 caps, 119 goals and four Olympic Games, Barry Middleton has drawn the curtain on his international hockey career.
Middleton skippered Team GB to fourth at London 2012, the men’s team’s best Olympic finish since Seoul 1988, and again at Rio 2016.
His 432 caps for Great Britain and England put him among the most-capped players international players of all time and comprise of appearances at four World Cups, eight European Championships and four Commonwealth Games on top of his Olympic achievements.
And Middleton has decided to leave the game while he is still performing at a high level having been nominated for FIH World Player of the Year in 2018, his final year in international hockey.
The Doncaster-born player has been contemplating hanging up his stick for almost three years now and has taken the decision with the view that he has nothing left to give the sport.
“I have been thinking about this decision since Rio and now is the right time for me to step away from international hockey,” said Middleton.
“Priorities in my life have shifted and I am excited to move on to the next phase. I feel I have given everything I possibly could to get the best out of myself in the last fifteen years, none more so than in the build up to the World Cup last December and I'm not sure I could motivate myself to that level again.
“It has been an honour to represent my country for so many years and it has been a dream job for me.
“I hope people could see just how much I enjoy playing the game whether at an Olympics or with Sandy and Redders on the cabbage patch back in Donny.
“Thanks to everyone who has coached, played with or supported me during my career.
“Thanks to all the people I have met along the way around the world, I have been incredibly lucky to have made so many great friends through the sport who I share so many memories with.
“Finally, thanks to my family for all you have done for me. I couldn't have done it without you and I massively appreciate all the support you have given me over the years.”
Great Britain Hockey has announced its intention to publicly mark Middleton’s retirement once he returns from holiday in Australia later this year.