'Legend' Lorna calls time on 46-year netball career
An inspirational veteran of Guernsey netball has blown the final whistle on her playing career after 46 years in the sport.
Lorna Brown (previously Hall) has confirmed her retirement at the age of 53 and as arguably still one of the island’s top players – she was a first-choice defender for domestic league champions Lightning A.
Although there have been limited representative opportunities since lockdown, she was still a core member of Panthers and inter-insular A squads until that point.
Last season she guided Lightning to victory in an electrifying play-off final against multiple champions Rezzers Green before, on the same night, being awarded Island over-30s player of the year. She now thinks that was the ideal high to retire on.
‘You couldn’t have asked for it to be any more perfect than that.
‘Winning the league, over-30 player of the year – which I’m only just [over 30], you know – and it’s not until you leave somewhere that you realise how much you inspired and motivated people,’ she said.
‘They always said “Lorny, we need your motivation” and I just did my craziness and they liked it.’
Hall is first to describe herself as ‘crazy’. Her fitness regime includes getting up at 4.15am most days to prepare for the gym, where she does nine sessions a week.
But her stature within the sport made for a few emotional moments when she announced her retirement to fellow Lightning and Guernsey stalwart Donna Brehaut, who subsequently told her clubmates.
‘We were dreading the day Lorna was going to announce her retirement,’ the Lightning A captain said.
‘She amazes me every time she steps on court. You think her performance could not get any better, but her performance in the play-off final was fantastic... one of the best games of her life.
‘She’s going out on the top of her game, even now, and she definitely could have given even more.’
Brehaut highlighted her retirement as ‘a massive loss’ for Lightning and recalls one player calling her the ‘backbone of the team’.
Brown added: ‘I’ve had loads of really lovely messages about how much of a legend I’ve been and how I’ve been very inspiring through all the years that I’ve played.’
She will continue as a netball coach and also has plans to make a comeback to basketball – where she earned an Island Games cap in 2007 – next season.