Irish hickey team celebrate silver medal in World Cup 2018 Finals | Inset: Lizzie Colvin and fiancé Matthew Holden announce engagement, via Instagram

Wedding Talk

Irish hockey hero Lizzie Colvin jokes she has '17 bridesmaids now' after spirited World Cup final

Sports star is engaged to boyfriend of six years Matthew Holden

Irish hockey star Lizzie Colvin has joked that she has '17 bridesmaids now' after the team's inspirational journey to the World Cup final in London this weekend.

Lizzie and boyfriend Matthew Holden, whom the hockey star described as "my best friend, my partner in crime and love of my life", got engaged on her birthday in January, after dating for almost six years.

She said she'll have to add her team of 17 girls to her bridal party when she weds her South African fiancé, after the incredible performance the team had in the Hockey World Cup.

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They were defeated in the final by a strong team of Dutch women who eventually took home a 6-0 win, however Lizzie said the journey to the finals has only gone further to cement their already strong friendships.

"These are memories we'll cherish for the rest of our lives," Lizzie told the BBC, before joking about her wedding party increasing after the team's epic battles in London.  

"I've got 17 bridesmaids to worry about now," she said laughing. "We're the best of friends and we're all fighting for each other. It's scary the amount of time we all spend together and we absolutely love it. Even if this tournament was to go on another week we'd absolutely love it!"

The team will be welcomed home in a reception to take place in City Hall in Dublin this afternoon, where they will be joined by the Lord Mayor of Dublin.

They are expected in City Hall at 2pm, before the reception gets under way at 3pm.

Tributes have been paid to the team for their exploits by the President and the Taoiseach.

President Michael D Higgins congratulated the team on their “fantastic accomplishment” and said they had broken new ground as a result.

“I wish to offer my warmest congratulations to the Irish women’s hockey team on their historic achievement of winning the silver medal at the World Cup,” the President said in a statement.

“To reach the final was a fantastic accomplishment and to do so with such skill, dedication and team spirit is truly inspirational.

“This team has broken new ground for Irish hockey and Irish sport and their momentous achievement will encourage young women and men all around the island of Ireland to take up sport.”