10:31 am
27 Feb 2024

Lee Beachill Retires From The PSA Tour

10 Feb 2009

England's Lee Beachill, the former world number one and three-time British National Squash Champion, has announced his retirement from the PSA Tour.

The 31-year-old Yorkshireman, who has been unable to return to full fitness following surgery last year to repair cartilage damage to his left knee, will make his final tournament appearance in this week's British National Championships.

In a professional playing career spanning over thirteen years, Beachill won gold medals at consecutive Commonwealth Games in Manchester and Melbourne in 2002 and 2006, respectively, and helped England to win successive Men's World Team Championships in 2005 and 2007. In October 2004, he became the first English-born player to be crowned world No1 and went on to extend his PSA World Tour haul to nine titles, from eighteen final appearances.

A PSA member since 1996, Beachill joined the board in January 2008 and was elected President in October.

Renowned for his impeccable on-court behaviour and a classically-constructed style which created a foundation for one of the soundest games in the world, Beachill has been trying to extend his career with the aid of a brace to support his troublesome knee. However, following an extensive rehabilitation programme, he has eventually conceded that the symptoms experienced over recent months have resulted in him no longer being able to continue to compete professionally.

"It is with great sadness that I have to announce my retirement at a stage in my career where I felt I still had so much to offer. Unfortunately injuries play a part in the careers of all professional athletes and I'm no exception!" explained the Englishman.

After becoming the first man in history to reach the British National Championship final seven times last year, it is perhaps fitting that Beachill should chose this week's event to announce the end of his playing career. With three titles to his name, he still hopes to be good enough for one more tilt at the coveted crown.

Tributes have been received from many of those who have worked with one of England's finest ever squash players during his thirteen year playing career.

Professional Squash Association Chairman, Ziad Al-Turki said: "I have known Lee for about five years having first met him at the Saudi International in 2005 and since then I have had the pleasure of knowing him as a professional athlete and a colleague on the PSA Board. As a promoter I can say that Lee has been one of the most professional players on the Men's World Tour and was always willing to do whatever was asked of him for the benefit of the event and the sport as a whole. His dedication to squash and knowledge of the sport have made him one of the most committed, most hard working members on the PSA Board.

"He will be missed by all his fans but, knowing how dedicated he is to squash, I'm sure that he will take his contributions from inside the court to new areas within the sport. I, and the entire PSA Board, wish Lee the best of luck and thank him for the all that he has contributed to squash, as one of its greatest players."

Respected coach Malcolm Willstrop, who has been instrumental in Lee's development into one of the sport's leading players, added: "Having been associated with Lee from the age of eight, it is a sad day when he is forced to retire from the PSA World Tour. He has achieved so much, especially in Manchester, so it is appropriate that his career ends at the British National Championships. But for the injury, there were no signs that he was not as good as ever, so that is the regret.

"He has already given the game so much, and I am sure that whatever role that he finds in the sport he has even more to give. Aspiring young players could do a lot worse than to emulate Lee, both for the way he played the game and the manner in which he conducted himself."