England Women U19s Manager, Mo Marley has announced her retirement after 25 years of involvement with England Women at all levels in playing and management.
Marley made her England debut as a player in 1995 whilst playing for Everton and went on to earn 41 caps plus captained the senior team at 2001 UEFA Women’s Euro in Germany where they finished bottom of their group on goal difference with a single point after drawing 1-1 with Russia in their only non defeat of that campaign.
During that time, she had become assistant coach to Hope Powell in 1998 before being awarded her first managerial job in charge of the U19s squad, which would be the team where she achieved most of her success as a manager.
Marley took the U19s team to three UEFA Women’s Euro silver medals in 2007, 10 and 13 whilst achieving a best result in 2009 of winning the tournament, after defeating Sweden 2-0 in the Final with a squad containing Toni Duggan, Jordan Nobbs and Lucy Bronze amongst others.
The highest point of Marley’s England managerial career came in autumn 2017 when she took caretaker charge of the senior squad for three matches in which they won two and lost once, following Mark Sampson’s sudden departure.
Speaking on her tenure within the Women’s set-up, Marley said; “It’s an immense privilege and pleasure to have played a part with England teams for the last 20 years,”
“I’ve been very lucky to be given an opportunity to do a job that I love and am so passionate about. I have so many amazing memories over the years working with different players and staff.”
Marley in particular acknowledged the ‘early opportunities’ which were gifted to her in terms of management as she approached the end of her playing career with Everton, saying; “I’m very grateful for the early opportunities I was offered to develop as a coach in the international environment and feel now is the time to step down, allowing other coaches to have those opportunities and to take England teams to the next level.”
On her passion for England, Marley stated that she will still watch all England teams in future, saying; “I will be the best supporter ever and look forward to watching all our England teams in the future.”
As well as managing within the England Women’s youth set-up, Marley also managed Everton Women from late 2002 until October 2012 when she was succeeded by Andy Spence, guiding the Toffees to five runner-up finishes in Women’s Premier League as well as 2009-10 Women’s FA Cup and 2007-08 Women’s Premier League Cup.
‘Fantastic contribution’ to Women’s Football
Tributes have been pouring in across Social Media from various ex players, with 16-time England Women’s goal scorer, Sue Smith praising Marley’s ‘fantastic contribution’ to the sport.
What a fantastic contribution to the women’s game as a player and a coach! She even had to put up with me as a roomy 😂 she’ll be missed!! https://t.co/omUIYkX3Qo
— Sue Smith (@suesmith8) October 7, 2020
Man City’s Lucy Bronze took to Twitter to pay tribute to Marley’s ability to be ‘going above and beyond for all her players.’
One of THE best!
I will forever be grateful for everything she did for me on a personal level, always known for going above and beyond for all her players.
Truly a legend of the English game 🙌🏼 Happy Retirement 🤍 https://t.co/gteep1u4qK
— Lucy Bronze (@LucyBronze) October 7, 2020
Everton midfielder, Gabby George described Marley as a ‘Legend’ of the England Women’s game who will leave a huge impact on the sport.
No words would put in to perspective how much of an impact this women has had on women’s football ! Legend 💙… thanks for everything Mo !! https://t.co/msEjTHd5LZ
— Gabby George (@gabsgeorge) October 7, 2020
West Ham’s Rachel Daly tweeted her best wishes for Marley’s retirement and described Marley as an ‘unbelievable coach and person’.
Unbelievable coach and person. A true pioneer of the game. Happy, well deserved retirement, Mo! ❤️🏴 https://t.co/My3nkNsOTV
— Rachel Daly (@RachelDaly3) October 7, 2020
Man City and Lionesses midfielder, Jill Scott paid tribute to her former Everton manager of whom guided Scott plus rest of 2009-10 Everton squad to their second FA Cup title after defeating Arsenal in the final, describing Marley as the definition of the word ‘legend’ in the game.
No words will ever be enough for what Mo has done for the women’s game! She defines the word legend! Wishing you a happy retirement, you certainly deserve it! 👏👏👏 https://t.co/rgEjqMdZ7k
— Jill Scott MBE (@JillScottJS8) October 7, 2020
Current England midfielder, Georgia Stanway described the tenure of her former U20s manager as an ‘unbelievable run’, adding that achieving the Bronze medal at U20 World Cup against hosts, France was a particular highlight after winning on penalties following a 1-1 draw in which Stanway had put the Lionesses in front.
Congratulations on an unbelievable run. Some amazing memories made both on and off the pitch. Bronze at the U20 World Cup in France is definitely one to remember. I will be forever grateful. You deserve the best retirement 🙌🏼 https://t.co/X6DpYsEreN
— Georgia Stanway (@StanwayGeorgia) October 7, 2020
It wasn’t just former and current players lining up to pay tribute as FIFA Women’s World Cup described Marley as a ‘true pioneer for women’s football’.
🙇♀️ Take a bow, Mo Marley
👏 Congratulations on a fantastic career & enjoy your retirement, Mo pic.twitter.com/j22qUTH8Oh
— FIFA Women’s World Cup (@FIFAWWC) October 7, 2020
UEFA meanwhile wished Marley ‘good luck’ in a tweet on their Women’s Euro Twitter page.
Good luck to Mo Marley, who is retiring after 20 years coaching the @Lionesses🏴 youth teams 👍
— UEFA Women’s EURO (@UEFAWomensEURO) October 7, 2020
Finally, Everton paid their own tribute on their Women’s Twitter page summarising Marley’s career as player and manager at the club and described the 53 year-old’s spell in the game as a ‘superb career’.
24 years a Blue. Player. Captain. Manager.
Two FA Cups, one League Cup, one league title. A legend of the game.
Congratulations on a superb career, Mo. Enjoy retirement! 💙 https://t.co/e3aV52YQlh
— Everton Women (@EvertonWomen) October 7, 2020