Former England netball head coach Tracey Neville has revealed she suffered a miscarriage the day after leading the team to Commonwealth Games gold.
Coach Neville helped the Roses to their first major success on the Gold Coast of Australia in April last year.
The sister of footballers Gary and Phil had taken England to their first ever netball final, but they faced an Australia team they had only beaten five times in their history.
Yet they upset the odds when Helen Housby scored in the last second to record a dramatic 52-51 win.
Neville said at the time: “It’s my dream come true. The girls have worked so hard over the last international phase.
“Australia are the renowned, world number ones and to beat them at that time, I’m really, really proud – the feeling of that is amazing.”
But despite the euphoria of victory, the 42-year-old hid a personal pain.
“I had a miscarriage and then I went into a three-hour media fest to celebrate what is something that I’d been waiting something like 30 years for,” Neville told the
“This was my family, this was my commitment. I didn’t want to miss this journey that the Roses were on because, in a way – and it’s awful to say – the Roses were my priority.”
Neville announced earlier this year that she would be stepping down from her role to concentrate on starting a family.
The decision came at a critical time, with England preparing for July’s World Cup in Liverpool, but one Neville insisted was the right decision.
After suffering another miscarriage at Christmas, Neville made the decision which she regards as “one of the most difficult of my life”.
“It was when the girls had gone back to their clubs and then reality started to hit,” Neville said.
“I looked at taking a sabbatical but I’d be putting huge pressure on myself to get pregnant, and we all know it doesn’t work like that.
“My family said don’t do it until after the World Cup, but I’m a really honest person and I said I can’t go into the tournament knowing that information.”
Neville explained the difficult news to her squad over a group phone call, but added: “The girls were amazing. They knew how important it was to me, they knew how much Michael meant to me and my family.”
She has since announced she is expecting a child with partner Michael Timmins.