Club stalwart Nathan Catt has reluctantly hung up his boots - announcing his retirement from rugby with immediate effect due to long-term injury.
The seasoned forward bids a fond farewell to Bath Rugby after spending 12 years at the club and making 170 appearances in the Blue, Black and White.
Nathan Catt said: “I have been a part of this club for a very long time now and it has been a huge part of my life. The City is phenomenal, the supporters, the club, the players of past and present, it has all been a fantastic journey. I can’t thank Bath Rugby enough for giving me this opportunity to experience so many great memories.
“It has been an extremely tough decision to make. Whilst I have great pride when I look back on my career, I do sit here and think of what could have come – but that’s sport and injuries are part and parcel of the game we all love.
“My time has come before I’d have liked to hang up my boots, but I’m very proud of what I’ve achieved, the friends I’ve made and the memories I will cherish. To the supporters, I just want to say a huge thank you for backing me and following me on my journey, you have been nothing short of amazing.”
Whilst working on rehabbing his injury, the Club have supported Catt through his Level Three Coaching qualifications through Bath Rugby’s partnership programme at the University of Bath. This has given him the opportunity to gain valuable experience both learning from and working alongside Bath Rugby Performance Pathway Coach Mark Lilley and Pathway Coach Louis Messer.
Having captained Catt during his time at Bath Rugby as captain, current Director of Rugby Stuart Hooper admitted Catt’s retirement is a huge loss for the Club and paid tribute to the departing forward.
Hooper said: “Losing Nathan to injury is a big blow. First and foremost, he has given a huge amount in his career, both emotionally and physically, to this Club. He is a world class individual and he is going to be missed. He genuinely is a Bath man through and through and any time that I have played with him or worked with him, he never gives anything less than 100%.
“Unfortunately, his body has told him that it is time to stop. Catty has his wife and two kids to think about and they are absolutely the most important thing to think about. We are gutted to see him go, but I am personally incredibly proud to have played alongside him for the Club and count him as a friend, who has Blue, Black and White running through his veins.
“Catty is a player who wears his heart on his sleeves and when things got tough, he was always the guy to roll his sleeves up and bring everyone in and then charge headlong into the opposition. He has always given his all and that has a huge impact on any squad. The impact of one guy charging in to any one given situation, it just has a huge ripple effect on those around them.”
Catt rose through the ranks of the Bath Rugby Academy, impressing as a young age grade player. Featuring first for the England U19 team in the 2007 World Championships, Catt started every game in the 2008 U20 Six Nations in which England won the grand slam.
After stepping up to the Bath Rugby senior squad in 2008, he made his Premiership debut against Worcester Warriors and went onto appear in his England Saxons debut against Portugal in January 2009.
A highlight of his time with Bath was the 2016/17 season, during which time Catt was one of the standout performers and rewarded with a call-up to Eddie Jones’ England training squad in 2018.
One of the longest-serving Blue, Black and White, Catt was also named in Rugby Pass’ Bath Team of the Decade.