NewsNatasha Dowie announces retirement from football
Natasha Dowie, Liverpool FC Women's all-time top goalscorer, has announced her retirement from football.
The 35-year-old has called time on her stellar career in the professional game, which spanned nearly two decades.
Dowie scored an unmatched total of 47 goals for the Reds across two spells, also lifting the Women's Super League twice during her time at the club.
The association with Liverpool is far from over, however, as Dowie will now become Liverpool FC Women's ambassador, a newly created role working closely with the girls' ProGame Academy, boys' Academy and the LFC Foundation girls' programmes among other roles.
- Pay your tribute to Dowie at the women's Merseyside derby at Anfield – tickets start at just £1 for U18s, so grab yours now here
On the decision to retire, Dowie told Liverpoolfc.com: "Reflecting back, I feel really proud of my career and I actually think there's no better way than I would have liked to have ended my career than at Liverpool Football Club.
"I think having been here on loan last season, it just felt right. I had a couple of opportunities to go abroad again and play, but it was just nice to be home.
"I haven't been home now for eight years and it just kind of felt right. Nothing excited me as much as staying at Liverpool and at home."
Dowie's journey with Liverpool began in November 2012 when she arrived from local rivals Everton.
Her goals helped fire Matt Beard's side to top-flight crowns in 2013 and 2014, with the forward the winner of the Golden Boot and FA Players' Player of the Year awards in the first title win.
Dowie would then have spells at Melbourne Victory, Doncaster Rovers Belles, Boston Breakers, Linkoping, Valerenga and AC Milan, before a return to the WSL with Reading in 2021.
The 14-time-capped England international rejoined the Reds on loan from Reading in January 2023 for the second half of last season.
A finish against Manchester City in May saw Dowie become the first player in the club's history to reach the figure of 20 WSL goals, and she added another away at Aston Villa in the next fixture.
In what proved to be her final campaign as a player, she helped Beard's squad finish seventh on their return to the WSL and will now begin an exciting new chapter with the club.
She continued: "I'm so excited and I think why this club is so special is what they do for players. I'm going to be Liverpool's women ambassador, which I'm so proud of.
"I'm going to be getting involved with the U18s at the Academy with the boys, I'm going to be working with LFC Foundation, I've been doing matchday appearances, working the lounges, doing Q&As and obviously doing my LFCTV stuff as well, which I love.
"It's just a nice package, it has everything that I enjoy doing. But more than anything, representing this club, I'm hungry, I'm still hungry. I cannot wait, to be honest, for the next chapter."
Reds fans will have a perfect opportunity to say goodbye to their most prolific striker at the women's Merseyside derby with Everton on Sunday October 15, when Dowie will be honoured at Anfield.
"It's going to be special," she said. "I think every player has this dream of how they want to say goodbye.
"I think it's even more special to be at Anfield, to be against Everton – I had five amazing years at Everton and won trophies at Everton as well.
"Those two clubs were probably the most special clubs to me, which is weird to say that because of the rivalry.
"To have that guard of honour there for me at Anfield is going to be incredible. I can't wait. So hopefully we can get a big crowd and I can say goodbye to the fans. They've been amazing my whole Liverpool career.
"From 10 years ago, all the way through they've followed me, even when I've been travelling. And my welcome back was pretty special as well."
- Pay your tribute to Dowie at the women's Merseyside derby at Anfield – tickets start at just £1 for U18s, so grab yours now here.