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Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 April, 2004, 11:03 GMT 12:03 UK
Cope ends England career
Charlton Women's veteran goalkeeper Pauline Cope has announced her retirement from international football.

The 35-year-old stopper has decided to call time on her England career after earning 60 caps for her country.

Cope, who also works for the Addicks' football in the community programme, reached the last 16 of the 1995 Women's World Cup in Sweden with England.

She said: "It's a shame to call it a day for my country but I wasn't enjoying it as much as in the past."

Cope, who has also helped England qualify for the 2003 World Cup play-offs, added: "I loved playing for England and will always cherish the memory of representing my country.

"When I started playing football I never could have imagined that I would get 60 caps for my country, which I think is more than any other goalkeeper, so that's something I can take a lot of pride in."

It is a shame Pauline has decided to leave the England set-up but I understand her reasons
Hope Powell
Cope's decision means England coach Hope Powell must look to third choice keeper Leanne Hall and replacement call-up Toni-Anne Wayne for Thursday's friendly with Nigeria at Reading.

Everton's Rachel Brown, contender for the England number one spot, has been ruled out for the rest of the season with a knee ligament injury.

Hope said: "It is a shame Pauline has decided to leave the England set-up, but I understand her reasons and wish her every luck for the future."

Cope, a three-time FA winner with Millwall, Arsenal and Croydon, will bid for her fourth cup winners' medal on 3 May when Charlton face Arsenal at Loftus Road.



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