Reading FC Women announce the retirement of Brooke Chaplen

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Reading FC Women have confirmed that midfielder and club stalwart, Brooke Chaplen, is set to retire at the end of the season with a video released on Twitter. Chaplen joined the Royals in 2017 and has since made 94 appearances and scored 26 goals.

Injury diagnosis

Chaplen has been out of action since November with injury but was dealt a further blow in February when it was revealed she had been diagnosed with a tumour in her leg, ‘I found out at the end of January that I had a tumour in my fibula and due to the likelihood of it being cancerous that it would need to come out. That operation was successful, it’s been removed and scans show that there’s no sign of it left which is obviously great news. Unfortunately, the operation that I had to have meant that a couple of knee ligaments attached at that point weren’t able to be saved and as a result of that I’ve been advised that playing football going forward won’t be an option for me’.

Reading Women's Brooke Chaplen. Photo: Neil Graham.
Reading Women’s Brooke Chaplen. Photo: Neil Graham.

Playing for Reading

Chaplen began her senior career in her home city of Portsmouth when she joined the club in 2005, she played for the Hampshire club for three years before joining Chelsea in 2008. Her longest tenure was served at Everton where she scored 3 goals in 51 appearances before their relegation, she then joined promoted side Sunderland on a year long basis for free before settling in Reading in 2017. Chaplen claimed the top goalscorer accolade in her first season with the Royals. She also played for England age groups between 2008 and 2011 playing for the U19s, U20s and U21s.

‘I’ve been here a long time, I feel like I’m part of the furniture at the club, I have some great memories, I feel like I developed most as a player here and that’s credit to the staff and coaching staff and how much they invest in me as a player,I can’t speak highly enough of the people I’ve met and the experiences I’ve had’

Fondest memories

‘The couple of seasons where we were really pushing the top three I enjoyed the most, they were probably the toughest. The environment was tough. We have a lot to be proud for the size of the club and the resources that we have’

‘The first time we played Man United, it was a really tough aggressive game and it wasn’t a great goal but at the time they were our rivals. And at home at Adams Park against City scoring on the half volley there.’

Brooke Chaplen shapes to shoot. Photo: Neil Graham / ngsportsphotography.com

Next chapter

‘I’ve been away studying for few years looking at the business side of football so I really hope so but right now I obviously still have the injury that I suffered in November that got put on the back burner because of the tumour so just to get fit and healthy’.

If you’d like to watch the full video, it’s available to watch on the Reading FC Women Twitter account.

Thank you for your tenure and good luck with recovery and the future, Brooke!

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