Kate Richardson-Walsh

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Kate Richardson-Walsh
Eurohockey 2015- England v Scotland (20832580351).jpg
Richardson-Walsh at the 2015 EuroHockey Championship
Personal information
Birth name Kate Louise Walsh
Nationality British
Born (1980-05-09) 9 May 1980 (age 37)
Withington, Manchester, England
Height 1.71 m (5 ft 7 in) [1]
Weight 66 kg (146 lb)
Spouse(s) Helen Richardson-Walsh (m. 2013)
Country  Great Britain
Sport Field hockey

Kate Louise Richardson-Walsh, OBE (née Walsh, born 9 May 1980) is an Olympic Gold and Bronze Medal winning English field hockey player. She was capped a record 375 times for her country and was the England and Great Britain Captain for 13 years.[2]

Early life[edit]

Richardson-Walsh was born in Withington, Manchester and attended Priestnall School in Stockport.[3] Her first hockey club was Didsbury Greys in Manchester.[4] Richardson-Walsh was selected to play for the under 16 Great Britain team when she was 14. It took Richardson-Walsh just nine years to go from starting hockey at her school aged 11 to playing for her country at the Olympic Games.[5] She graduated from Brunel University in 2003 with a 2:1 (BSc Sports Science).[6]

International career[edit]

Richardson-Walsh made both her England and Great Britain debuts in 1999 and has since gone on to play at the full range of international tournaments including four Summer Olympics, four Hockey World Cups and four Commonwealth Games.[7]

In 2003 aged 23 years old Richardson-Walsh was made captain of the senior GB hockey team, a role she held for a further 13 years until her retirement in 2016.

As a defender she won a silver medal at the 2002 Commonwealth Games held in her hometown of Manchester, and bronze at the 2007 EuroHockey Nations Championships.

In 2012 Summer Olympics, Walsh was hit by a stick in the team's opening match against Japan and suffered a broken jaw, which was expected to end her journey in Olympic games. However after undergoing surgery and missing just three matches, she returned to play in their penultimate group game against China and captained the team to win the Bronze Medal.

In 2014 Richardson-Walsh captained the team to a disappointing 11th out of 12th place in the World Cup in The Hague.

Glasgow 2014 marked her fourth Commonwealth Games where she captained the team to a Silver medal and was also selected to be Team England's flag bearer for the closing ceremony.[2]

Following the 2014 Glasgow games, Richardson-Walsh took a 3 month sabbatical from International Hockey, before returning at the end of the year and regaining her place in the team (and captaincy) via the development squad.[8]

In 2015 Richardson-Walsh captained England to win the Unibet EuroHockey Championships against The Netherlands. After drawing the match 2-2, the Gold medal was secured in a shoot-out with England winning 3-1.[9]

She became the most capped female in Great Britain on Saturday 20 February 2016 during test matches in Australia when she overtook Karen Brown who had 355 caps.

In 2016 Richardson-Walsh captained the women’s field hockey team to their first gold medal at an Olympics. The team were undefeated throughout the tournament, beating The Netherlands in the final on penalties.[10] Kate Richardson-Walsh was selected to be the Team GB flag bearer at the closing ceremony for the Rio Olympics.[11]

After 375 appearances for her country, 19 medals, 49 goals and 13 years as GB and England Captain, Richardson-Walsh confirmed her retirement from International hockey after the Rio Olympic Games.[2]

Domestic career[edit]

She played club hockey for Reading in the England Hockey League Premier Division for seven years.[12] and has also acted as the women's team assistant coach. In 2016 Richardson-Walsh announced that she would leave Reading Hockey Club to join HC Bloemendaal in the Netherlands after the Olympics [13]

Kate has also played domestic hockey for; Leicester, Slough, SCHC (Netherlands) and Klein Zwitserland (Netherlands)[14]

She currently serves as an ambassador for the Women’s Sport Trust, supports disability hockey as an ambassador for Access Sport, and between 2013 and 2016 she was elected to the British Olympic Association Athletes' Commission and European Olympic Athlete’s Commissions.[15]

Coaching career[edit]

Following on from her 2016 retirement from International Hockey, Richardson-Walsh has expressed a desire to go into hockey coaching.[16]

Personal life[edit]

In 2013 Walsh married Great Britain and England teammate Helen Richardson and both changed their last names thereafter.[17] After the Olympics, Helen announced that she would leave Reading Hockey Club to join HC Bloemendaal in the Netherlands, and so the couple relocated to live just outside Amsterdam, where they currently still reside.[18]

Kate and Helen Richardson-Walsh made history becoming the first same-sex married couple to win an Olympic Gold medal together.[19] and the first married British couple to win Gold together since 1920.[20]

In 2017 Kate and Helen Richardson-Walsh were both awarded honours, making them the first same-sex married couple to be honoured on the same list.[21]

Kate is also athlete ambassador for sports website platform Pitchero[22].


Richardson-Walsh is three times a winner of the Hockey Writers Club UK Player of the Year (2003. 2007 and 2012).[23]

In 2003 and 2016 she was shortlisted for the FIH World Player of the Year Award.

She was named 'Great Britain Hockey Athlete of the Year' in 2007.[2]

In 2014 Richardson-Walsh was awarded an Honorary Fellowship from Liverpool John Moores University.[5]

Richardson-Walsh was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2015 New Year Honours for services to hockey[24][25] and Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2017 New Year Honours, also for services to hockey.[26][27]

In 2016 Richardson-Walsh was the first hockey player to be shortlisted for BBC Sports Personality of the Year. She achieved 6th place out of 16 nominees with 34,604 votes [28]

In March 2017 Richardson-Walsh was nominated for a place in the European Hockey Hall of Fame.[29]


Media related to Kate Richardson-Walsh at Wikimedia Commons

  1. ^ "Kate Richardson-Walsh biography". Retrieved 7 September 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Kate Richardson-Walsh confirms her retirement - England Hockey". www.englandhockey.co.uk. Retrieved 2016-12-31. 
  3. ^ "Manchester Evening News". 
  4. ^ Cox, Charlotte (2016-08-22). "The Manchester hockey club where Olympic gold medalist honed her skills". men. Retrieved 2016-12-31. 
  5. ^ a b "Kate Richardson-Walsh | Honorary Fellowship | Liverpool John Moores University". www.ljmu.ac.uk. Retrieved 2017-01-13. 
  6. ^ "Brunel's-Kate-flies-Team-GB-flag". 
  7. ^ "Kate Richardson-Walsh – GB Hockey". GB Hockey. Retrieved 23 November 2014. 
  8. ^ "Kate Richardson-Walsh returns to Great Britain fold as Olympic qualification year beckons". Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 2017-01-13. 
  9. ^ "EuroHockey Championships 2015: Results and tables". BBC Sport. Retrieved 2016-12-31. 
  10. ^ "Rio Olympics 2016: GB women win first hockey gold on penalties". BBC Sport. 2016-08-19. Retrieved 2016-12-31. 
  11. ^ "Kate Richardson-Walsh named as Team GB's Closing Ceremony Flagbearer". Retrieved 2016-12-31. 
  12. ^ "EHL statistics". Fixtureslive.com. Retrieved 23 November 2014. 
  13. ^ "Hockey: Reading duo Helen and Kate Richardson-Walsh to leave the club". Reading Chronicle. Retrieved 2016-12-31. 
  14. ^ "Kate Richardson-Walsh - GB Hockey". www.greatbritainhockey.co.uk. Retrieved 2016-12-31. 
  15. ^ "Benchmark Talent | Kate Richardson-Walsh". www.benchmarktalent.com. Retrieved 2016-12-31. 
  16. ^ McLean, Ross (2016-09-08). "GB's Richardson-Walsh talks post-Olympic retirement". Retrieved 2017-01-13. 
  17. ^ Wright, David (4 September 2013). "Reading's Olympic hockey stars Helen Richardson and Kate Walsh to marry". Get Reading. Retrieved 4 September 2013. 
  18. ^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p052md6w
  19. ^ Ring, Trudy. "Olympic History Made: First Gold Medals for Same-Sex Spouses". Advocate.com. Retrieved 2016-08-21. 
  20. ^ "GB hockey stars Kate Richardson-Walsh and wife Helen are first married couple to win gold since 1920". The Sun. 2016-08-21. Retrieved 2016-12-31. 
  21. ^ "New Year Honours list 2017: Andy Murray becomes Britain's youngest modern knight, plus who got what in the awards?". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2016-12-31. 
  22. ^ . Pitchero http://join.pitchero.com/introducing-our-pitchero-athlete-ambassador-kate-richardson-walsh.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  23. ^ "Lewers and Hinch win UK hockey player of the year awards | Hockey Writers' Club". www.hockeywritersclub.com. Retrieved 2017-01-13. 
  24. ^ "No. 61092". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 2014. p. N25. 
  25. ^ 2015 New Year Honours List Archived 2 January 2015 at the Wayback Machine.
  26. ^ "No. 61803". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 2016. p. N14. 
  27. ^ "New Year's Honours for our 16 gold medalists - England Hockey". www.englandhockey.co.uk. Retrieved 2016-12-31. 
  28. ^ "Full Sports Personality of the Year 2016 voting statistics revealed". RadioTimes. Retrieved 2016-12-31. 
  29. ^ "Richardson-Walsh nominated for Hall of Fame - England Hockey". www.englandhockey.co.uk. Retrieved 2017-03-11.