READING Hockey Club's Kate Richardson-Walsh and wife Helen became the first same-sex married couple to win an Olympic gold in the same final in the historic victory over Holland.

Great Britain skipper Kate, 36, and her spouse, 34, are also thought to have been the first married couple since 1900 to win medals on the same team at the Games.

Before the title match the captain, who came out of retirement for the competition, said it was going to be a "really special" moment for the couple.

"We have been through ups and downs - some of the best and worst times over the last few years. For Helen to come back from back surgery twice and to get over that and play again and reach an Olympic final, it's great."

The pair played their first Olympic Games together at Sydney in 2000 and have nearly 35 years' experience in hockey's top flight between them.

Their romance reportedly came after Beijing in 2008 and they wed in 2013 after playing in the same squad that took bronze in the London Olympics a year earlier.

Richardson-Walsh has been captaining national teams since 2003, has racked up over 350 caps, and was honoured with an MBE for services to the sport in the 2015 New Year Honours.

The couple are leaving Reading HC after the Olympics to embark on an exciting new chapter of their lives.

They have agreed a two-year deal to play for Bloemendaal, one of the leading clubs in the Netherlands.

“It is a new experience and an exciting times ahead for us,” said Helen.

“We will miss Reading but I have had seven years there and I think that is a good stint at one club.

“We have enjoyed many successes and played for some fantastic teams. We have also made some really good friends.

“We obviously wish the club all the best and hopefully they can develop.

“I have seen what Mike (coach Irving) has programmed for next season and what he is trying to put into place."

Both Berkshire players leapt for joy at the end of a a nail-biting penalty shoot-out after a neck-and-neck match against the Netherlands.

Star goalkeeper Maddie Hinch, currently world No1, who pulled off several magnificent saves in the shoot-out, said it was a "huge team effort" against a "fantastic" Dutch team.

"We definitely back ourselves in the shoot-out. Goalkeeping has its highs and lows. You can be a villain, but you can also be a hero in the moment," the 27-year-old said.

"It helped that the Dutch had a shoot-out in their semi-final, so that gave me a chance to see what they do, but I basically give myself a game plan for each player and I execute that and thankfully it worked.

"Thankfully the Dutch did what I thought they would do.

"What a great advert for hockey. That's what we want to do, showcase our sport and I'm so pleased it was a good game."

Coach Danny Kerry said he knew the team would be triumphant when the game went to penalties with Hinch in goal.

He said: "We know we're good at shoot-outs. We have some tough competitors and probably the best goalie in the world in shoot-outs. As soon as it went there I knew we would win.

"Today we had to defend, we had to dig trenches, but we changed things in the last quarter and it paid off.

"Eight of the group are multiple Olympians and we needed that experience today."

It was the country's 24th gold medal - bringing the total medal haul to 58.
Team GB's women won bronze at London 2012 while the men struck gold at Seoul 1988.

Meanwhile, last night's gripping final against Holland captured the nation's imagination.

On Twitter, there was a flurry of reaction from the night as Britain's women's hockey stars stole the show with a historic golden victory over Holland.

Finding the tension of the 3-3 draw and penalty shoot-outs almost too much to bear, JK Rowling tweeted: "Couldn't we just call it a draw? #IHatePenaltyShootouts #IFeelSick"

But her worry turned to elation when, after a series of textbook blocks by Team GB goalie Maddie Hinch, the Dutch were defeated.

The Harry Potter author wrote: "YESSS!!!!" - adding : "I LOVE PENALTY SHOOTOUTS!!!"

Hazelgrove, the Somerset private school where Hinch was educated, tweeted: "So proud of Hazlegrove girl @MaddieHinch and #gbhockey - well done! #OlympicGold"

Archbishop of York John Sentamu said: "Team GB Women Hockey Gold winners you are Fantabulous Olympiads!Well executed!You are the cats' whiskers!For all that you have achieved:TA"

Broadcaster Jeremy Vine tweeted: "Eight matches and eight wins and GOLD for our hockey women #Brilliant" adding later: "Shame Hinch wasn't around to defend that bathroom wrecked by @RyanLochte #GBHockey"

Comedian Chris Addison tweeted: "Maddie Hinch. What a hero."

Match of the Day host Gary Lineker tweeted: "Yes! Maddie Hinch you are a superstar! Another gold for @TeamGB"

Labour MP David Lammy tweeted: "Any chance we can get Maddie Hinch in goal for the England football team please? Incredible team performance by the women's hockey #Rio2016"

In a similar vein shadow home secretary Andy Burnham said: "Forget Joe Hart. Think Everton should sign Maddie Hinch. Team GB Women's Hockey absolutely brilliant."

England and Liverpool football star Michael Owen tweeted: "Brilliant. Yet another Gold for #TeamGB. Well done girls."

Call the Midwife star Miranda Hart said: "I am on tenterhooks but I DONT KNOW THE RULES! Someone? Hockey."