Bye Bye, Mister Robertson

Nathan Robertson officially retired today after one of the longest and best badminton careers ever completed by an English man. No 2012 Olympics for him as he couldn’t qualify, together […]

Nathan Robertson officially retired today after one of the longest and best badminton careers ever completed by an English man. No 2012 Olympics for him as he couldn’t qualify, together with his on- and off-court partner Jenny Wallwork, but tons of souvenirs, amazing titles – he will leave his mark on the game itself.

By Raphael Sachetat. Photos: Badmintonphoto

Nathan Robertson is no more an active badminton player. “So I can now officially say. I AM RETIRED…. Thank you to everyone who supported and helped me throughout my entire career.” This is how Nathan announced his official , on his Twitter account, on Tuesday, June 5th 2012. Had she not been more busy with her own Jubilee, Her Majesty the Queen could have honoured the British shuttler with some official recognition, as the Nottingham-born has given his country some memorable moments.

He picked up an Olympic silver medal – something yet unachieved by any other shuttler from Great Britain in any Olympics – and a gold medal in the 2006 World Championships, together with Gail Emms, but also many more national and international titles and a record of 114 caps for England, the last one in Wuhan China, during the recent Thomas Cup.

Robertson, who turned 35 on May 30, made his first England appearance aged 18 in 1995 and that was the launch pad to a career which brought success at every level. Even in the last weeks of his career, he and his mixed doubles partner Jenny Wallwork had climbed to No. 17 in the world, coming so close to selection for London 2012.

Robertson’s amazing contribution to English sport was also recognised at the 2010 Commonwealth Games when he was awarded the honour of carrying the Team England flag at the opening ceremony and he will step into the spotlight for a final time when he runs the Brent leg of the 2012 Olympic torch relay on July 25.

The former world No. 1 in mixed doubles and No. 4 in men’s doubles, said: “I’ve had a fantastic career in a sport that has given me so much. I’ve been lucky to have some great people to work with along the way, especially partners including Julian Robertson, Simon Archer, Anthony Clark, Gail Emms and Jenny Wallwork.  I have incredible respect for each one of them and they are all friends for life now.

Of course, none of this would have been possible without the constant support of BADMINTON England, and several coaches but especially Andy Wood and Julian Robertson (as coach).  I had the best guidance and advice of those two to keep me on the right path and was proud they were behind the court during myself and Gail’s 2006 world title.

My final thanks will always go to my parents, John and June, my daughter Neve and the rest of my family. They have given me above and beyond anything I could have possibly asked for in terms of support and constant encouragement since it all started when I was five years old in my local village Cotgrave (Notts). Words will never be enough as thanks so I just hope I gave them some great memories and experiences in supporting my career. We always celebrated together as a whole family, which are some of my best memories.

I hope my achievements and the way I conducted myself in the game will help to spur on the young players coming through the England set-up so they can follow in my footsteps and be the champions of the future.”

As for those who want to know what Nathan will be doing this summer? “For those asking, my summer will be spent looking after these 2…[his new dogs]! As well as watching a few football matches.”

More to come for Charity?

If badminton is officially over for Nathan – in the international circuit anyways – he might still be seen on court in the future, as the English man is also a man with a big heart, and he’s always been keen on helping out charity events, especially Solibad – Badminton Without Borders as he is the English Ambassador of the worlwide foundation.

Nathan had participated in the first show of its kind – the “One Night With Stars” in Geneva in March, 2011, where he put on a real show to entertain the public, together with other Solibad Ambassadors – Peter Gade, Lee Yong Dae, Mathias Boe, Jeanine Cicognini, Hans-Kristian Vittinghus, Agnese Allegrini, Pi Hongyan and Korea’s legend Park Joo Bong, and he hinted that he would be happy to participate in future events held by the worldwide foundation, as he will remain Solibad Ambassador for England, even as a retired player.

Nathan Robertson’s Roll of Honour

Silver Medal – Olympics 2004 (XD)
Gold medal – World Championships 2006 (XD)
Gold medal – European Championships 2004 (XD)
Gold Medal – Commonwealth Games 2006 (XD)
Silver Medal – Commonweath Games 2010 (XD and MD), 2006 (team), 1998 (team)
Bronze – Commonwealth Games 2010 (team), 2002 (MD), 1998 (MD)

14 National Titles
114 Caps
Best world rank: 1st in Mixed Doubles, 4th in Men’s Doubles.

Here is the link to Nathan’s performance in the show “One night with Stars”

His Facebook page HERE

Raphaël Sachetat

About Raphaël Sachetat

Raphael is the Chief Editor of Badzine International. He is the founder of the website together with Jean François Chauveau. After many years writing for the BWF and many publications around the world about badminton, he now leads a team of young and dynamic writers for Badzine.