'It has been a privilege.' King's Lynn's Olympic champion steps down from Great Britain hockey coaching role
Lynn's Olympic champion hockey coach, Danny Kerry, has today stepped down as head coach of the England and Great Britain men's teams.
The announcement ends the former Pelican's 17-year involvement in the national set-up, which peaked with the memorable Olympic gold medal triumph of his women's team at Rio 2016.
In a statement, released through England Hockey this afternoon, Danny said: “Although this is not a decision I intended to take looking to this Olympic cycle, it is the right one for both the team and myself.
“There is no doubting the talent that lies within the individuals of the men’s squad, and the good news is that there is a young crop also set to emerge and fill positions within the side.
“The capacity to win big is there and I truly wish them well for the future. I am deeply saddened I won’t be part of that future, but such is life.
“I have given everything over the last 17 years, perhaps at times too much, but I would not swap the life experiences I have had for anything.
“I have had the privilege of working alongside and with truly brilliant people, at some of the most amazing moments in the history of our sport.
“It has been a privilege to serve as coach.”
After his initial appointment as coach of the Great Britain women's team in 2005, Danny came to national prominence when he guided the side to Olympic bronze at London 2012.
Four years later, millions were glued to their televisions as his team won a dramatic penalty shootout against the Netherlands to win gold in Rio.
He was awarded an MBE in 2017, before becoming head coach of the British men's team in 2018. They finished fifth at the Tokyo Olympics last year.
Great Britain Hockey's President, Sheila Morrow, said Danny "steps away as an absolute giant of the game".
And performance director Ed Barney said: “Danny’s contribution to hockey cannot be understated: so much of the success over the past 17 years – international medals, the professionalisation of our international programme, a step-change in the visibility of our sport – has been directly related to a very special man.
“He leaves a legacy in so many different ways from which there can be so much pride and hopefully contentment for him personally.
“It is only right to also thank Danny’s family who have played a huge role over the years - endless trips for him across many continents, often for long periods, where I’ve no doubt Lisa, Anna and Orla have missed their husband and dad.
“He has given so much to the sport and is rightly deserving of a well-earned breather. We wish him the very best and hope to continue to have a close connection together over the coming years.”