Liverpool captain Sophie Bradley-Auckland is putting her football career on hold to help her family-run care home through the coronavirus pandemic.
The defender, 30, is the manager of Edenhurst care home in Nottingham.
“With the current situation it’s made me have to make a decision, one that’s been awful and I’ve actually lost sleep about it,” she told the club website.
“The fact is that I can’t return to Liverpool until a risk isn’t posed on the care home.”
The England international added: “My happiness – and that’s what I call playing football, which is my happiness, is something that I love to do – isn’t worth somebody’s life and that is what it is as well. It is actually risking somebody’s life.
“I have a duty of care. I’ve got 24 residents, actually 24 other members of my family I would call them, and I would never want to pose any further risk on them than what’s already there.”
Bradley-Auckland said all tests for coronavirus at the care home, which was previously run by her grandparents and parents, have come back negative so far.
Liverpool were relegated from the Women’s Super League in 2019-20, finishing bottom of the table after the season was ended early and final positions calculated on a points-per-game basis.
Bradley-Auckland is hopeful of returning to the Reds at some point, adding: “All I’m holding onto is that I’ll be back.
“My training continues before I go to work and I’ll always be fit and ready to come back whenever that risk is not there on the care home.
“It’s tough because I feel like I’m letting everybody (team-mates) down but I’ll be back. That’s all I keep telling myself.
“Hopefully this doesn’t go on too long and I’ll be back and I can get the team where they belong – in the Women’s Super League.”