It’s the end of an era. After playing over 200 games for her beloved Wolves, tough tackling defender Claire Hakeman has decided to hang up her boots.
Her impressive career includes a spell in the top flight with Birmingham City Ladies, as well as taking time out to have her Wolves-supporting children, Harry and Gracie. She has spent the last few years fitting her training and match day schedule around family life and working as a PE teacher at Thorns Collegiate Academy in Brierley Hill.
After playing football at primary school, Claire joined Wolves at the age of 14, showing talent early on, and making her senior debut at the age of 17. She has seen the women’s game go from strength to strength, and in recent years has inspired and encouraged the younger players coming through.
Manager Dan McNamara led the tributes, saying: “Claire is an absolute legend and a brilliant role model that the youth of Wolves and beyond should certainly look up to.”
Captain Anna Price added: “What a privilege to have played with Claire. She has supported so many of us on our path to the first team and what a top friend she has come to be. She will be massively missed."
Andrew Jennings, Managing Director of Wolves Women sponsor Q-Technical Services echoed many sponsors and fans, saying: “Wishing you all the best and thanks so much for your years of dedication…you will be sadly missed.”
Claire said: “It’s so tough to leave after a long association with such a fantastic club, but I feel it’s the right time to go. Juggling being a mom of two kids has been a test, along with lots of niggles and injuries over my playing career, and the wear and tear of the last couple of seasons has definitely taken its toll playing at this standard. I’m safe in the knowledge that the club has so much talent coming through, they will definitely be a team to watch in the coming seasons.
“It’s been an absolute privilege to represent Wolves Women both on and off the pitch. I’ve been lucky to have played with some fantastic players, top managers and staff throughout my time at the club. The last few seasons, in particular the integration with the men’s club has been amazing and that is down to all the hard work that goes on behind the scenes, but not unnoticed.
“As a Wolves fan, being part of last season’s kit launch was a fantastic experience. Plenty of highlights, but in particular my only ever senior trophy - winning the League title in 2017. I wish Dan and the squad all the best for next season. I’ll be keeping in touch and watching their progress closely. Exciting times ahead.”