British WWE star Paige retires after neck injury

WWE's Paige Image copyright Getty Images

British WWE star Paige has retired from competing in the ring due to a neck injury.

The two-time WWE Divas Champion made the announcement on RAW After Mania in an emotional speech.

She told fans: "Unfortunately due to neck injuries I can no longer perform as an in-ring competitor. This is one of the hardest things I'll ever have to say in my entire career."

The 25-year-old hasn't wrestled since taking a kick to the back in December.

Paige had surgery following that match - which took place against Sasha Banks at a WWE live event in New York.

It meant that she wasn't able to take part in the historic first women's Royal Rumble match on 28 January, and there were fears then that she wouldn't wrestle again.

The Brit had already faced a lengthy spell out of action for a neck injury the previous year.

In her farewell speech Paige said she was "going to have to go and find something else" outside of wrestling.

She thanked "every single female superstar" in the WWE.

"We have all built this division to be huge - into something we didn't imagine it could ever be," she said.

The crowd chanted "Thank you Paige" as she gave her speech and tributes from fans and fellow wrestlers flooded in on social media.

The Norfolk-born wrestler does have something to look forward to though - despite being forced to retire from the industry she says was her life.

A film based on her story, produced by Dwayne The Rock Johnson's production company, and featuring him, is in the works.

Fighting With My Family is a comedy-drama based around Paige and her family of professional wrestlers.

It tells the story of "reformed gangster and former wrestler Ricky" (Paige's dad) and his wife Julia, daughter Saraya (Paige) and son Zak who make a living performing in tiny venues across the country - until a WWE audition changes everything.

Game of Thrones' Lena Headey is set to feature alongside Vince Vaughn, Nick Frost and Florence Pugh, while Stephen Merchant is writing, directing and executive producing.

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