Rosie Parnell: A letter to Saints fans

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After announcing her retirement from football, Southampton FC Women's captain Rosie Parnell has penned a letter of thanks to the supporters, staff, players and family that shaped her career.

The time has come where I say goodbye to playing football. It’s been a mixture of feelings, an easy decision because when you know it’s right, you know, and for me mentally and physically I know it’s the right time

However, having made the decision in January it’s been a tough few months topped off with being injured and not being able to help the team end on the high I’d imagined.

I really wish I could have given more this season, but I hope that during my time off during the summer I can sit back and reflect and remember what a great career I’ve had. Especially my time here.

I would like to say a huge thank you to each and everyone one of you that has supported the women’s team since it was reformed, and especially during the five years I’ve been part of it.

Your support does not go unnoticed and I’ve said it many times before, you make away games feel like home games! One that will stick with me forever is the support we had in the play-off game all the way in Stockport - when I led the team out that day I was stunned - and secondly, that record crowd at St Mary’s against Arsenal.

I hope you all continue to support the women, and I hope even more of you join the journey!

To the staff and players I’ve worked with, thank you for such a memorable time over the years. There have been some of the best times of my career at this club and I’ve made so many special friendships. The season we got promoted was so special and I’ve genuinely never been part of a group as together as that.

To the club, what a journey the Women’s team is on and I’m so grateful to have been a part of it. I was part of the academy many years ago and to come back in 2019 and see the difference was amazing.

I never expected to be a full time professional player, so to have done it here at Southampton, the club I support, and to have captained the side has meant so much to me and my family and I hope I’ve done the shirt proud over the years. I can’t wait to see the club in the WSL soon.

Finally, my family and friends, I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for you all. My friends, thank you for being so patient all these years and making our schedule mainly around my training and games, I hope you appreciate my new calendar!

To my mum and dad, you are my heroes. The travelling and sacrifices you have made are why I am here today and I hope you know that. My brother, Nick, I wouldn’t be as competitive if it wasn’t for you and your game day essays were my favourite. And a big thank you to my husband Mark, you have been unbelievable and I couldn’t have done this without you. Especially in the last few months, you’ve kept me going.

I honestly can’t explain how proud I am to have represented this club and to have captained the side to many successes over the years, this club will always be special to me. And I will continue to be a super Saints fan in the stands.


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