Englandís Oliver Pett has hung up his racket at the age
of 27 after a squash career peppered with highs and lows.
his junior years Olli was runner-up in the English U15
Nationals, represented England in the European Junior Team
Champs, and reached the U19 quarter-finals of the British Junior
He joined the PSA 2008 but his early years on Tour were marred
by the tragic death of his father to Motor Neurone Disease. Olli
committed himself to the sport in his fatherís memory,
dedicating his victory at the 2011 Windy City Open to the memory
of his father, and breaking into the worldís top 100 shortly
He was active on the domestic scent, competing in the British
Nationals, many BSPA events, and in the National/Premier League.
Olli rose to a career-high World #56 in Oct 2012, only for
health issues, coupled with his mother being diagnosed with
cancer, forcing him to be absent for two years.
He returned to action in 2014, winning the Keith Grainger
Memorial Open Ė a win he dedicated to his mother. But a further
injury meant another spell on the sidelines and a period that
saw tragedy strike once again as his mother lost her battle with
He returned to competitive action once more a year later,
reached the final of the Open du Gard six months ago, in
addition to appearing at the Windy City Open as a qualifier.
His last PSA appearance was in April 2016 at the Keith Grainger
Memorial, bringing down the curtain on a career that saw him
compete in 56 PSA events, winning 105 of 158 matches and
reaching five finals.
has been a difficult few months coming to this conclusion," Olli
"I have been playing squash since I was a boy and it has been my
life, and my familyís life, for as long as I can remember and
itís always been more than a job for me, itís been my whole
"This has probably been one of the hardest decisions Iíve ever
"Although there have been ups and downs, I have always loved
playing and loved the game. Sadly, my career has been plagued by
injuries. From the normal tears, rips and operations to breaking
my back to suffering a mini-stroke on court, it seems that I
wasnít going to get a run without something niggling at my
"Injuries are expected and although they often meant long
periods of recovery, the first big blow was actually the death
of my dad in 2008. Heíd been involved in my career my whole life
and losing him left a gap. Mentally, it was very hard.
"I got my head down and worked hard. But later I had a few
health issues I had to deal with, and at the same time, my mum
was diagnosed with cancer. She fought hard and I fought hard
too, and we got better together.
"But I was out for a two-year period. It gave me time to recover
and get stronger, to start getting myself into the best shape of
my life. One of my all-time favourite memories was after this
period when I won the Keith Grainger Memorial Open back in 2014.
"That was an emotional victory and I dedicated it to my mum. I
thought weíd come through the worst of it, I was back on track,
I was feeling strong and I was climbing the rankings and chasing
my dream of reaching the top.
"But I snapped my abductor and was sidelined for a year. At this
time, my mumís cancer returned. Timing is everything and,
although it was a miserable period in my life, my injury meant
that I was able to dedicate my time to looking after my mum.
"It was precious time together that Iím so grateful for now, as
she passed away last September. I cannot even begin to explain
what losing her meant, or how my life has changed in the wake of
"So, the last few months have been a battle. Mentally and
physically trying to get back on tour, Traveling with my
siblings in January for the Open du Gard, my first tournament
back, and then trying to find my form again.
"I was lucky enough to get a local spot in Chicago, where I
could play against the top players again, which was an
incredible moment for me.
"It summed up everything I loved in squash and why I had
dedicated my life to it. But the squash court is an intense,
competitive space, so while Iím still desperate to play, the
physical and mental wear and tear of the last few years is
beginning to show.
"Although itís a hard decision to retire, I want to thank so
many people for the opportunities Iíve been given. First, my
family, who have given everything they had so that I could have
the chances I did. I want to thank England Squash who have
worked with me since I was a boy.
"I want to thank Tim Vail for everything, without him I would
never have been the person or player I am today. He has worked
tirelessly with me and gave everything he could to help me
succeed. He is an incredible person and I am lucky to have
worked with him.
"I also want to thank the many physios and doctors who have
worked with me and Greg Pearman, who has helped me through my
"But mostly I want to thank my mother. She was an incredible
lady who was the brightest and most fearless person in any
situation I have ever met.
"She taught me everything I know and without her I could not
have pushed on as far as I have. So, thank you Mum.
"I love squash too much to leave it completely and there are new
chapters to explore now. This puts me at an exciting crossroads.
There are many aspects of the game I have always wanted to
pursue, physiotherapy, psychology, maybe university. There are
lots of things on the cards.
"Right now, Iím looking at staying involved in the game and
coaching, helping develop the game in my area. I feel I have a
lot to give still and want to be able to share my knowledge and
experiences with anyone who is interested."
Keith Grainger 2014
Olli at the 2016 Windy City
Olli Pett search