MS FORCES BELLES ACE ASH TO RETIRE
ASHLEIGH MILLS has been forced to hang up her boots at just 20 years of age after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
The Doncaster Rovers Belles midfielder, a former England U19 international, made four appearances for the side last season as they gained promotion from WSL2.
Despite finishing her playing career, it’s not the end for Mills, who wants to carry on supporting the Belles from the stands when their season starts against Chelsea on March 24.
Mills said: “I have tried so hard to get back, but my legs just won’t go. Unfortunately, this disease cannot be beaten and has taken my dream.
“My three years with the club have been absolutely fantastic. I have enjoyed every minute of my time here. I feel very honoured to have represented this great historic and successful club.”
Multiple sclerosis affects around 100,000 people in the UK, with symptoms often including fatigue, vision problems and difficuly with walking.
After Mills’ diagnosis, Belles manager Glen Harris paid his tributes to the midfielder.
He said: “It is sad that a young player with the talent of Ash has had to stop playing at the top level.
“She has been a pleasure to work with, always turning up and training with a smile on her face... even if it’s not always in the right kit!”