Ally farewell after 20 years of glory

THREE-time Olympian Tony Ally has announced his retirement after more than 20 years competing at the highest level of his sport.

Tuesday, 2nd October 2007, 9:20 am
Updated Wednesday, 3rd October 2007, 8:15 am

The City of Sheffield diver has decided to call time on his career after failing to recover from a recurring knee injury that has been causing him problems since the British Diving Championships last December.

Ally, who once considered a career in boxing, became the first British diver to win a European title, claiming gold in the three-metre individual final at the 1999 European Championships.

He won silver at the 2002 Commonwealth Games in the three-metre and one-metre individual. Then he added synchro silver in 2006 with fellow Sheffield diver Mark Shipman.

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"It is a disappointment to be retiring a year before Beijing, it would have been amazing to compete in my fourth Olympics," he said.

"But after a scan on my knee it was clear that I wouldn't be able to come back from this injury."

Ally attended three Olympics, two World Championships, five Commonwealth Games and five European Championships and has won six major international medals.

"My proudest moment was carrying the English flag out at the Common-wealth Games in 2006," he added.

"I also savoured collecting my European gold on three-metre individual in 1999. I was the first British male to be crowned European Champion."

Ally has already been working with some of the country's most promising youngsters, providing support to synchro pairings, and hopes to remain in the sport he has devoted his life to.

"I have had a 20-year career that I have loved and I have been so lucky to have worked with some great people along the wa," he said.

British National Performance Director Steve Foley said: "Tony dominated the British team. His passion will be missed."