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York Valkyrie Co-Captain Katie Langan announces retirement

York RLFC are saddened to announce the retirement of Valkyrie Co-Captain and Club legend Katie Langan after 14 years of service to rugby league in the city.

Langan began her journey in 2009 with York Ladies before the formation of York City Knights Ladies in 2016.

The following year, Langan was part of the side which went undefeated in the Merit League and won the Challenge Shield, earning a spot in the Betfred Super League from 2018.

Langan’s leadership qualities saw her appointed as Club Captain in 2020, a year on from reaching the 2019 Challenge Shield Final.

Taking the role of Co-Captain alongside Sinead Peach last year, Langan remained an integral component of Lindsay Anfield’s squad, following the arrival of the director of rugby and a host of key new signings in 2021.

Successfully transitioning from half-back to centre, Langan scored two tries as York beat Leeds Rhinos 22-14 at Headingley Stadium in August to capture the BWSL League Leaders’ Shield - the Club’s first piece of major silverware in the 13-a-side-code.

Langan also featured in the sides which won the inaugural 2022 Women’s Nines and reached the 2022 Grand Final and 2021 Challenge Cup Final - both firsts in the Club’s history.

Explaining her decision to hang up her boots, Langan said: “It got to a point where I needed to stop and go out on a high.

“My oldest son Bobby has just started secondary school and he loves his sport. It’s been hard if both our training sessions have been on the same night.

“I’ve had to say, ‘Sorry Bobby, you can’t go training because I've got to go.’ Having to do that as a Mum is hard.

“We’ve managed it and my family has committed just as much to rugby league as me. But I feel like it’s at a point now where I need to give all my commitment back to them and to him growing in his sport. Unfortunately it means that I have to retire.”

On her proudest moments in a York shirt, Langan added: “When we were losing by loads of points every week in Super League, the girls were still going out there and working hard, I was so proud of them for doing that and not walking away.

“And last season, to win the League Leaders’ Shield, having started from the very bottom to then finishing at the top, that was a proud moment.”

York Valkyrie Director of Rugby Lindsay Anfield said: “Katie is a legend of rugby league in York, having been a key part of the sport in the city for well over a decade.

“When I came in, she was an established captain and she really helped with the transition that took place at the Club.

“She was the best athlete that we had and probably still is, so it’s a massive loss to the Club and the squad to lose Katie.

“She was a really valued member of the squad on and off the field and we’re really grateful for everything she has done for this Club.

“We wish her all the best for the future and she’ll be greatly missed.”

York RLFC Chairman Clint Goodchild said: “Katie has been at the frontier of the growth in women’s rugby league here in York and she’s seen it transition into something that the whole region can be really proud of.

“Her decade of dedication is something that most clubs need to have the foundations to succeed.

“We’ve never had a finer leader, she was a great captain and co-captain and she’ll be greatly missed by everyone at the Club.”

Everyone at York RLFC would like to put on record our thanks to Katie for her efforts during her time at the Club and wish her well in retirement.


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