Chloe Kelly’s mother tells how Hero Lioness has ‘kicked a ball since she could walk’ following win


Hero goal scorer Chloe Kelly hugged her family as she returned home to Ealing today following the Lionesses historic Euro 2022 win – as her mother said she was always ‘tough as old boots’ and ‘bounced off of everybody’.

As a football-mad youngster, the 24-year-old was determined to show the boys on her West London estate not just that she was as good as they were but that she was even better.

Every day after school and in the holidays, she spent hours at what was known locally as ‘the cage’.

It was the rough, gravel-floored fenced-in pitches where she and her five brothers and their friends kicked the ball about from dawn until dusk.

The nickname of that childhood haunt provides a perfect metaphor for the brave-hearted Lioness who went on to score the fairytale goal that clinched victory in the Euros for England.

For while, overnight, Miss Kelly has become a national hero, to get to the dizzying heights of her game this sporting superstar first had to claw her way out from the rusting metal football pens next to her family’s home on the Windmill Park Estate in Southall.

No one knows this better than her mother Jane, who yesterday spoke to the Daily Mail at the family’s terraced home about the brilliant daughter she used to take to training on the bus.

‘She always had a ball at her feet,’ said the mother-of-seven, 55, who stayed at home to care for her children while her husband Noel, 58, worked as a machinery engineer. Bursting with pride, she added: ‘She was tough as old boots and just bounced off of everybody.

As a football-mad youngster, the 24-year-old was determined to show the boys on her West London estate not just that she was as good as they were but that she was even better (Pictured above: Chloe Kelly)

As a football-mad youngster, the 24-year-old was determined to show the boys on her West London estate not just that she was as good as they were but that she was even better (Pictured above: Chloe Kelly)

Chloe Kelly

Chloe Kelly

Ms Kelly’s PE teacher, Julie Curley, was also outside her home and recalled the England winger’s ‘incredible football skills’ on her first day in the playground

Chloe Kelly (pictured) celebrates after scoring her side's second goal during the Women's Euro 2022 final on Sunday

Chloe Kelly (pictured) celebrates after scoring her side’s second goal during the Women’s Euro 2022 final on Sunday

No one knows Ms Kelly better than her mother Jane (pictured with her daughter), who yesterday spoke to the Daily Mail at the family¿s terraced home about the brilliant daughter she used to take to training on the bus

No one knows Ms Kelly better than her mother Jane (pictured with her daughter), who yesterday spoke to the Daily Mail at the family’s terraced home about the brilliant daughter she used to take to training on the bus

¿She always had a ball at her feet,¿ said the mother-of-seven, 55, who stayed at home to care for her children while her husband Noel, 58, (pictured with Miss Kelly) worked as a machinery engineer

‘She always had a ball at her feet,’ said the mother-of-seven, 55, who stayed at home to care for her children while her husband Noel, 58, (pictured with Miss Kelly) worked as a machinery engineer

Chloe Kelly was pictured returning home to Ealing and emotionally hugging her mother before singing and dancing with neighbours outside

Chloe Kelly was pictured returning home to Ealing and emotionally hugging her mother before singing and dancing with neighbours outside

The 24-year-old star was pictured proudly wrapped in the St. George's flag as she exited the car outside her family home in West London

The 24-year-old star was pictured proudly wrapped in the St. George’s flag as she exited the car outside her family home in West London

‘Growing up here, everyone used to go out playing. She just loved it. She’s kicked a ball since she could walk. Getting hit by the big boys with the ball, she used to get up and get up and that’s made her such a tough footballer.

‘She used to come home with cuts on her legs from bouncing off the cage floor but she’d still go back the next day.’

Miss Kelly’s journey to glory has lessons for us all about the importance not only of self-belief but of hard work and perseverance, of refusing to give up.

As a child, on FA Cup Final day, she would catch the 92 bus, not to watch the match as she couldn’t afford a ticket, but to buy a programme so she could read about her favourite players and feed on the ‘vibe around Wembley’.

But she has been dogged by injuries which might, had she not been such a fighter, ended her career.

A damaged ankle kept her out of the World Cup in 2019 while last year she suffered a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament which required surgery and months of rehab. She only returned to her role as a forward for Manchester City in April and battled hard to recover her form in time to fulfil her dream of representing her country at the Euros.

Chloe Kelly jubilantly sang 'Vindaloo' with her England teammates

Chloe Kelly jubilantly sang 'Vindaloo' with her England teammates

Chloe Kelly (pictured) jubilantly sang ‘Vindaloo’ with her England teammates and later attended a barbecue following the Lionesses historic Euro 2022 wi

‘She’s a role model for our times; not just for women but for men as well,’ says Tommy Walsh, who coached Miss Kelly as a 19-year-old at Arsenal FC.

‘She always had the talent but she worked to reach it. She never gave up. She had a real hunger and a relentless work ethic. She’s also just a really lovely person. She’s someone who is humble but wants to be a world-class player.’

Yesterday the streets on the estate where Miss Kelly grew up were a sea of red-and-white flags. Several who live here remember the days when she used to face them down in the cage.

‘She was obsessed with football,’ says neighbour Connor McCallion, 21, ‘That was all she ever did. She was always with her brothers; there would be loads of us in the cage, 20 or 30 sometimes.

‘She was the only girl but a lot of the boys used to move out of the way when she kicked the ball. We always knew she was going to be a pro.’

Padraig Nugent, 24, says: ‘She was always better than the boys. Even as a girl, she was known as “Superstar”.’

As the youngest of seven, Miss Kelly, 24, grew up with her own squad of footballers to train with,. Her father Noel told the Mail last night how her first kicks took place alongside her brothers Daniel, now 34, and Jack, 33, plus triplets Jamie, Martin and Ryan, 30. Her sister Paris, 27, who works at a dentist’s clinic, showed no interest in the game.

This year Miss Kelly told the Mail how her brothers made no allowances for her. ‘If I was on the floor, they’d tell me to get up. They never felt sorry for me if I was getting knocked about. That was the way to go. If they made it easy, you would always think everything is going to come easy in life and that’s not the case. That’s how I’ve got so far today.’

Miss Kelly was spotted by scouts from her family’s favourite team Queens Park Rangers while a pupil at Elthorne Park High School. But the club couldn’t give her the opportunities she got by joining Arsenal, enduring a two-hour round trip every time she went to train.

Leah Williamson shared an image of her teammate Beth Mead (pictured) in a car clutching two McDonald's takeaway bags, as they celebrate their triumph over Germany

Leah Williamson shared an image of her teammate Beth Mead (pictured) in a car clutching two McDonald’s takeaway bags, as they celebrate their triumph over Germany

She made her debut for the women’s first team at 17 in 2015, scoring her first goal after just 22 minutes. Coach Mr Walsh connected with her instantly. He said: ‘Her grandfather came from Omagh, County Tyrone, where I’m from. She was such a lovely person to work with. She’d always grab me after training with a bag of balls so she could work at her finish. She had a real hunger.’

In 2016, Miss Kelly moved to Everton on loan. In 2018, the move became permanent and she became their top scorer in 2019. The next year she signed a two-year deal with Manchester City and lives with her boyfriend of three years, Scott, 31, a greenkeeper at a golf club and their cockerpoo Otis.

But in May 2021, Miss Kelly suffered her serious ligament injury in a match against Birmingham City. She had surgery and rehab at the Liverpool clinic of sports physio Matt Konopinski and, on Sunday, paid tribute to those who got her back to full strength.

Clearly, this is just the beginning. Who knows what advertising and sponsorship deals lie ahead.

Last night Miss Kelly returned to her parents’ home where delighted neighbours hugged and kissed her. She was pictured proudly wrapped in the St. George’s flag as she exited the car outside her family home in Ealing before emotionally hugging her mother and friends.

She then began singing and dancing with family members and neighbours outside her home who each congratulated the star on her win.

Ms Kelly could be heard telling the crowd: ‘Let’s go party’.

Her caged lioness days may be over but the family and neighbours who know her are certain of one thing: that off the pitch at least her feet will remain firmly

Her PE teacher, Julie Curley, was stood in the crowd to welcome Ms Kelly home and recalled the England winger’s ‘incredible football skills’ on her first day in the playground.

She told Sky News: ‘I remember her first day so clearly, I walked through the playground and I could see this young blonde girl doing kick-ups in the playground and a large group of people gathered around her. And I thought wow, this girl has skills, who is she? And little did I realise just quite how skilful she was.’ 

Ms Kelly also took to her Instagram on Monday evening to passionately share with fans that she is ‘still buzzing from yesterday’ before posting a video at a family barbecue outside in the sunshine.

Ms Kelly recorded herself dancing on a bus with her England teammates singing the iconic football track before smiling and laughing as she excitedly starts singing before the song begins. 

Meanwhile, Leah Williamson shared an image of her teammate Beth Mead in a car clutching two McDonald’s takeaway bags, as they celebrate their triumph over Germany.

She captioned the fast-food image: ‘Couldn’t be more deserved could it?’ 

It comes as England’s victorious Lionesses partied with thousands of fans to celebrate their historic Euro 2022 win – the nation’s first major football trophy for 56 years – with the hungover players belting out Sweet Caroline and admitting they have ‘partied more than we’ve played football in the last 24 hours’.

Around 7,000 supporters went wild at the event hosted by Alex Scott in Trafalgar Square, where fans were dancing in the fountains last night after Chloe Kelly’s extra time goal.

Many of the players were wearing dark sunglasses after MailOnline revealed that they were dancing and singing in their hotel until 4am – but roared on by the crowd they proved they were ready to celebrate again this afternoon.

Ms Kelly took to her Instagram on Monday to passionately share with fans that she is 'still buzzing from yesterday' before posting a video outside in the sunshine with her family and friends

Ms Kelly took to her Instagram on Monday to passionately share with fans that she is ‘still buzzing from yesterday’ before posting a video outside in the sunshine with her family and friends

The sound to the video was muted, but Ms Kelly showed family members and friends gathered outside as they celebrate the Lionesses win

The sound to the video was muted, but Ms Kelly showed family members and friends gathered outside as they celebrate the Lionesses win

Addressing the huge crowd in central London today, captain Leah Williamson raised the trophy and said: ‘We’ve partied more than we’ve played football in the last 24 hours’. 

She added: ‘What we’ve done for women and young girls that can look up and inspire to be us. I think England have hosted an incredible tournament and we’ve changed the game in this country and hopefully across Europe and across the world. But we said we wanted to make our legacy about winning and that’s what we did’.

England’s matchwinner Miss Kelly, who serenaded the crowd with a rendition of Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline before dancing wildly on stage, said: ‘I ain’t stopped dancing, my feet just keep going. Everyone’s absolutely buzzing. We had a good night last night but some of us were a bit worse for wear this morning’. Rachel Daly then took the mic and began belting out Tina Turner classic River Deep Mountain High as her teammates danced around her.

Lionesses set to be given honours by Boris Johnson, No 10 confirms – but there will be no new bank holiday after win

Boris Johnson will ‘definitely’ want the Lionesses to receive ‘the recognition they right deserve’ after England’s historic Euros triumph, No 10 has said.

Asked if the Prime Minister will back damehoods for the team following their win, his official spokesman said: ‘The Prime Minister would definitely want to see the team receive the recognition they rightly deserve for their historic victory.

‘On honours specifically, there is obviously a process that is a matter for the independent honours committee, but clearly the public want to see (the) Lionesses receive recognition.’

Asked why Boris Johnson did not watch the Lionesses’ match at Wembley, Downing Street said he was following the game from home. His official spokesman said: ‘The Prime Minister did watch the game at home along with, I think, 17.4 million other (people).’

There are ‘no plans’ to add a new bank holiday following the Lionesses’ victory, No 10 said. The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: ‘Obviously we all want to celebrate the Lionesses’ win, but there are no plans to change the current pattern of public bank holidays.’

While scorer of the first goal, Ella Toone, was asked about the congratulations from Harry Kane for her top corner finish, and joked: ‘Yeah, I taught him that’. 

While looking forward to the 2023 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand next year, Lioness Lucy Bronze said: ‘There’s still one more we can get our hands on next year’.

Supporters were given free entry on a first-come first-served basis from 11am on Monday, and enjoyed live music from DJ Monki while watching tournament highlights on big screens. 

The victorious players and their manager, Sarina Wiegman, were then greeted as heroes and took part in a Q&A session before lifting the trophy.

But there is growing anger that there will be no traditional bus parade – an honour bestowed on the England men’s team on several occasions despite not winning a title since 1966 – with critics pointing the finger at Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and the Football Association for failing to organise one. 

There is also no Downing Street reception because Boris Johnson is at David Trimble’s funeral. The PM was not at Wembley due to a Cotswolds party to celebrate his secret marriage to Carrie Johnson last year.

The Trafalgar Square Lionesses event was organised by the Greater London Authority, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and Westminster Council, and broadcast live on BBC One. The event was full at midday, with the Metropolitan Police forced to urge supporters to stay away and watch it at home due to the huge numbers who turned out to cheer the Lionesses.

Chloe Kelly’s parents spoke of their pride in their daughter and admitted she was now a ‘superstar’ after her extra time goal clinched the title. Her father Noel told MailOnline: ‘It’s just been unbelievable to see. I didn’t play much with her when she was younger, but my boys kicked about with her. She’s absolutely brilliant’.

Her mother Jane added: ’Oh my god, it is incredible. She’s kicked a ball since she could walk and it’s just continued since then, getting bigger and bigger. This is one of the proudest moments of my life. She’s an absolute superstar.’ 

Chloe’s parents had travelled to the rapturous reception for the players at Trafalgar Square in London. 

Ticker tape explodes as Leah Williamson raises the trophy aloft at the Euro 2022 victory party in Trafalgar Square

Ticker tape explodes as Leah Williamson raises the trophy aloft at the Euro 2022 victory party in Trafalgar Square

England's Lionesses go wild with their staff as they celebrate the country's first major title since 1966

England’s Lionesses go wild with their staff as they celebrate the country’s first major title since 1966

England players including match winner Chloe Kelly sing Sweet Caroline on stage during a fan celebration to commemorate the historic UEFA Women's EURO 2022 triumph

England players including match winner Chloe Kelly sing Sweet Caroline on stage during a fan celebration to commemorate the historic UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 triumph

The fans were jumping and singing - and the players responded with similar excitement after their historic win

The fans were jumping and singing – and the players responded with similar excitement after their historic win

England's players sing and celebrate during a victory party in Trafalgar Square

England’s players sing and celebrate during a victory party in Trafalgar Square

Rachel Daly takes centre stage to sing to the 7,000 supporters there to celebrate their Euro 2022 victory

Rachel Daly takes centre stage to sing to the 7,000 supporters there to celebrate their Euro 2022 victory

Leah Williamson of England and Alex Scott, presenter react during the England Women's Team Celebration

Leah Williamson of England and Alex Scott, presenter react during the England Women’s Team Celebration

Goalscorers Chloe Kelly and Ella Toone. Chloe told the crowd: 'I ain't stopped dancing, my feet just keep going'

Goalscorers Chloe Kelly and Ella Toone. Chloe told the crowd: ‘I ain’t stopped dancing, my feet just keep going’

The Lionesses let their hair down - after a fair bit of drinking and not much sleep as they deservedly celebrated their victory over Germany

The Lionesses let their hair down – after a fair bit of drinking and not much sleep as they deservedly celebrated their victory over Germany

The Lionesses have a dance - again. England's matchwinner Miss Kelly, who serenaded the crowd with a rendition of Neil Diamond's Sweet Caroline

The Lionesses have a dance – again. England’s matchwinner Miss Kelly, who serenaded the crowd with a rendition of Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline

The much-loved England bucket hats worn by players and fans are placed on the Euro 2022

The much-loved England bucket hats worn by players and fans are placed on the Euro 2022

Captain Leah Williamson head coach Sarina Wiegman  and says that she hopes they have inspired a new generation of girls

Captain Leah Williamson head coach Sarina Wiegman  and says that she hopes they have inspired a new generation of girls

The victorious England team are cheered by supporters at the Trafalgar Square Euro 2022 victory party, where they sang and danced to Sweet Caroline

England's winning manager Sarina Wiegman lifts the European Championships trophy

England’s winning manager Sarina Wiegman lifts the European Championships trophy

Many of the England players were in sunglasses having partied until 4am at the team's hotel

Many of the England players were in sunglasses having partied until 4am at the team’s hotel

England fans going wild during a fan celebration to commemorate England's historic UEFA Women's EURO 2022 triumph in Trafalgar Square

England fans going wild during a fan celebration to commemorate England’s historic UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 triumph in Trafalgar Square

Crowds wait for the victorious team in the shadow of Nelson's Column this afternoon

Crowds wait for the victorious team in the shadow of Nelson’s Column this afternoon

The huge crowds in Trafalgar Square this afternoon ahead of the victory party

The huge crowds in Trafalgar Square this afternoon ahead of the victory party

A young England fan draped in a St George cross flag is all smiles in central London  today

A young England fan draped in a St George cross flag is all smiles in central London  today

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan addresses the crowd - but some have blamed him for the lack of a bus parade

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan addresses the crowd – but some have blamed him for the lack of a bus parade

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Crowds during a fan celebration to commemorate England's historic UEFA Women's EURO 2022 triumph

Crowds during a fan celebration to commemorate England’s historic UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 triumph

An England fan gets an England flag painted on her face ahead of the victory party

An England fan gets an England flag painted on her face ahead of the victory party

England fans prepare to welcome the Lionesses after their historic win

England fans prepare to welcome the Lionesses after their historic win

The Euro 2022 win will inspire millions of girls to take part in football, experts predict

The Euro 2022 win will inspire millions of girls to take part in football, experts predict

An England fan during a fan celebration to commemorate England's historic UEFA Women's EURO 2022 triumph

An England fan during a fan celebration to commemorate England’s historic UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 triumph

Trafalgar Square is a sea of St George's flags today

Trafalgar Square is a sea of St George’s flags today

The Lionesses leave their hotel for the victory party in Trafalgar Square

The Lionesses leave their hotel for the victory party in Trafalgar Square

England's Leah Williamson with the UEFA Euro 2020 trophy at The Lensbury, Teddington, where she admitted to 'feeling a bit rough'

England’s Leah Williamson with the UEFA Euro 2020 trophy at The Lensbury, Teddington, where she admitted to ‘feeling a bit rough’

Leah Williamson and Millie Bright of England lift the UEFA Women's EURO 2022 Trophy after their sides victory during the UEFA Women's Euro 2022 final

Leah Williamson and Millie Bright of England lift the UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 Trophy after their sides victory during the UEFA Women’s Euro 2022 final

In an image that will live long in the memory, Chloe Kelly swings her shirt over her head after scoring the winning goal and securing the title

Dancing next to their bus, the Lionesses return to their hotel having been celebrating their win against Germany

Dancing next to their bus, the Lionesses return to their hotel having been celebrating their win against Germany 

The team make their way into the hotel, having spent the evening celebrating their historic win

The team make their way into the hotel, having spent the evening celebrating their historic win

Supporters were draped in free flags which simply read: ‘Home.’

How England’s Euros win was the most-watched women’s game in Britain of all time 

England’s Euro 2022 final with Germany was watched by a peak audience of 23.3million across BBC One and streaming services – which made it the biggest ever TV audience for a women’s game in Britain.

The peak on BBC One was 17.4million, in addition to 5.9million streams across the iPlayer and BBC Sport website.

There was a peak audience TV share of 77.3 per cent, while the average share was 65.9 per cent – and the average audience was 11million, according to the ratings service Overnights.TV.

The figures do not include viewers in public spaces such as fan parks. The peak came in the closing minutes of the Lionesses’ 2-1 victory.

The previous highest peak came during England’s 2019 World Cup semi-final defeat by the United States, which saw a peak audience of nearly 12million.

Bu the average audience is slightly behind the 11.2million average overnight ratings for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee concert, which was broadcast by BBC One in early June, and which remains the biggest TV audience of the year so far.

The average TV audience for the match itself, from kick-off to final whistle and excluding the surrounding coverage, was 13.6 million, according to the BBC.

BBC Director-General Tim Davie said: ‘This was the most-watched women’s football game on UK television of all time and deservedly so.’

Separate figures from the BBC show that coverage of the game was streamed 5.9million times across the iPlayer and BBC Sport website.

However the match got nowhere near the audience of England’s men’s Euro 2020 final defeat to Italy last July, which was one of the most-watched moments in UK television history.

That game had a combined peak audience of 31million viewers – including 25million on the BBC and six million on ITV.

The BBC also said it had 6.9million streams on iPlayer, while ITV Hub received 4.2million requests for that match.

The 1966 World Cup final – the country’s last win at a major tournament – was watched by an estimated 32.3million people.

Yvonne Morrison, 61, took her grandson Ronnie, nine, to catch a glimpse of the Lionesses at Trafalgar Square. Ms Morrison, from Wiltshire, said: ‘They’ve raised the profile of women’s football, it’s long overdue. Hopefully it will raise their salaries, and status. It’s about time they were on an equal par.’ 

She added that ‘what’s really nice for us is that Ronnie’s obviously male, and he’s very interested in female football as well’. Nine-year-old football fan Ronnie said it was ‘amazing’ to celebrate the win with his grandma.

England’s pride of heroic – and hungover – Lionesses partied until 4am ahead of the Trafalgar Square victory party  after a record 23.3million watched them win the Euro 2022 final.

The team were congratulated by the Queen and then celebrated the win late into the night – including wild dancing at Wembley, on the team coach and even in the car park outside their hotel – after making history and beating Germany 2-1.

The 87,192-strong attendance in the stadium smashed the record for either a men’s or women’s Euros final and saw the team end more than 50 years of hurt. In extra time super substitute Miss Kelly fired them into the history books after beating Germany in a tight final that captivated millions and tens of thousands watching in pubs and fan parks across the country.

And MailOnline can reveal the victorious team partied until 4am at the Lensbury Resort – and many emerged bleary-eyed and wearing sunglasses five hours later after as little as two hours sleep. 

Many in the country might feel the same with 17.4million watching the match on BBC1 – 5.7million more than the previous record for a women’s match – plus a further 5.9million who watched on BBC iPlayer or via the BBC website yesterday. The match is also the most watched TV show of 2022.

Speaking about the party this morning manager Sarina Wiegman said it was ‘crazy’, adding: ‘There was lots of music. Lots of dancing. And English people can really drink. There was a little bit too much alcohol. But that’s ok. We enjoyed it. When you have these accomplishments it’s really good to party’. 

Her captain Leah Williamson received a huge cheers from dozens of fans as she emerged from the team hotel holding the Euro trophy. Wearing a red bucket hat, Leah struggled to lift the silver trophy above her head. She then told the BBC: ‘I’m feeling a bit rough this morning’.

Matchwinner Chloe Kelly was one of the first players to leave the hotel accompanied by her boyfriend Scott Moore. He wore an England shirt with his girlfriend’s name emblazoned on the back. The couple loaded up their car before returning to the hotel in Teddington, south west London.

Thousands of supporters, many draped in England flags and wearing replica shirts, queued outside the fanzone at Trafalgar Square in central London ahead of the Euro 2022 victory celebrations.

Among them was Chris North, 52, who said it was ‘amazing’ to be able to celebrate the victory with his two children.

‘My wife’s an ex-women’s rugby player so we always had women’s sport in our family, but they were so inspiring last night,’ he said.

‘The game was so exciting to watch. It’s definitely a new dawn, which is fantastic.’

He said his six-year-old daughter is excited to see her ‘new role models’.

Mr North said it’s ‘about time’ that women’s football received the ‘level up’ it deserved.

‘There are still massive discrepancies between the two, and this is only going to help, because it’s just not fair – not in today’s society,’ he added.

Lindsay Parslow, 32, said the Lionesses’ win on Sunday was a ‘big thing for women’s football.’

‘It’s more out there, more noticed – because it wasn’t before. And let’s be honest, they beat the men!’

Ms Parslow, from Rochester, Kent, was in Trafalgar Square for the celebrations alongside her partner and sons, aged 10 and 12.

She said she thinks her sons, who are ‘big football fans’, will now start taking more notice of women’s football.

Chloe Kelly walks back into the hotel after taking the team to victory, wearing an England cowboy hat and her medal

Chloe Kelly walks back into the hotel after taking the team to victory, wearing an England cowboy hat and her medal

After toasting their historic win, the Lionesses head back to their hotel following yesterday's game

After toasting their historic win, the Lionesses head back to their hotel following yesterday’s game

England's goal hero Chloe Kelly described the post-match celebrations at the team hotel as an 'amazing night' as she left the team hotel today

England’s goal hero Chloe Kelly described the post-match celebrations at the team hotel as an ‘amazing night’ as she left the team hotel today

Many of the England players needed shades this morning after a heavy night partying until 4am

Many of the England players needed shades this morning after a heavy night partying until 4am

England's Ella Toone leaving the The Lensbury, Teddington, in her England shirt from the semi-final

England’s Ella Toone leaving the The Lensbury, Teddington, in her England shirt from the semi-final

Hannah Hampton and Jill Scott leave the hotel this morning after their historic win

Hannah Hampton and Jill Scott leave the hotel this morning after their historic win

Hannah Hampton and Jill Scott leave the hotel this morning after their historic win

England's Alex Greenwood (centre) leaving the The Lensbury, Teddington

England’s Alex Greenwood (centre) leaving the The Lensbury, Teddington

The England Women's team arrive back at their team hotel as they celebrate their huge win against Germany in the Euro 2022 final and dance in the car park after leaving Wembley

The England Women’s team arrive back at their team hotel as they celebrate their huge win against Germany in the Euro 2022 final and dance in the car park after leaving Wembley

Kelly pokes home in extra time sending millions across the country wild

Kelly pokes home in extra time sending millions across the country wild 

Two England fanatics kiss the famous three lions on a historic day for English football

Two England fanatics kiss the famous three lions on a historic day for English football

England fans are in central London to greet their heroes

England fans are in central London to greet their heroes

Katie Thomas from Dartford during a fan celebration to commemorate England's historic UEFA Women's EURO 2022 triumph in Trafalgar Square today

Katie Thomas from Dartford during a fan celebration to commemorate England’s historic UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 triumph in Trafalgar Square today

More than 7,000 people are able to enter Trafalgar Square for a victory party with queues forming early this morning

More than 7,000 people are able to enter Trafalgar Square for a victory party with queues forming early this morning

Historic (and hungover) England captain Leah Williamson admits: ‘I’m feeling a bit rough this morning’

England captain Leah Williamson received a huge cheers from dozens of fans as she emerged from the team hotel holding the Euro trophy.

Wearing a red bucket hat, Leah struggled to lift the silver trophy above her head. She then told the BBC: ‘Feeling a bit rough this morning’.

Scores of young children, many in England shirts, watched in awe as Leah held the trophy aloft for the assembled media.

The head of Women’s football at the FA Baroness Susan Campbell said many of the players – and manager- were ‘ worse for wear’ and had just two hours sleep following the post match celebrations.

She said: ‘ I think the party went on too long and lasted into the night. It ended about 4am. All the players, their families and friends were there. It was wonderful. It was a wonderful evening that went on far too long.’

Campbell said the victory would prove an inspiration to a generation of young girls

She added: The joy, the happiness and brilliance of the players and absolute brilliance Sarina made it all worth it. She is an exceptional human being’

Queen leads praise of the Lionesses’ victory 

‘My warmest congratulations, and those of my family, go to you all on winning the European Women’s Football Championships.

It is a significant achievement for the entire team, including your support staff.

The Championships and your performance in them have rightly won praise.

However, your success goes far beyond the trophy you have so deservedly earned.

You have all set an example that will be an inspiration for girls and women today, and for future generations.

It is my hope that you will be as proud of the impact you have had on your sport as you are of the result today.’

Kate Wilkins, 52, and her daughter Isabel Wilkins, 14, and Jo Bellotti, 55, and her daughter Mils Bellotti, 15, all from Bath, are at the fanzone after watching the final last night.

Both Isabel and Mils play football, with Mils recently joining Bristol City.

Mils said: ‘It was an amazing experience, it was an amazing atmosphere. The crowd was insane.

‘We’ve been football fans most of our lives but it helps seeing that we can achieve that too.’

Ms Wilkins said: ‘We’re excited about how inspiring it’s going to be for everybody.’

Ms Bellotti said: ‘I’ve always loved football. And I wasn’t allowed to play it at school. So to go from that to sit in in a sellout 87,000 capacity stadium, watching women play at that level and bringing home the European Cup was just amazing. I never thought I’d see it in my lifetime, to be honest. It’s quite emotional.’

Some Scottish fans are at the fanzone in Trafalgar Square to celebrate England’s Euro 2022 victory.

Morag Scargill, 58, from Kilmarnock, and Sara Turkington, 39, from Prestwick, travelled down from Ayrshire to watch the final.

Ms Turkington said: ‘In terms of the women’s game, it can be huge. Especially in Scotland, where we would love to see an improvement.’

Ms Scargill said that the pair were supporting England despite the rivalry between Scotland and their neighbours.

She said: ‘We’re women’s football fans. (The match) was fantastic. You had to be there to experience it.’

Sir Elton John blared out of the speakers around Trafalgar Square as 7,000 England fans flooded in to toast their Euro 2022 champions.

With Sarina Wiegman and her players due on stage after midday, the merchandise stands around the London landmark were already doing a roaring trade by 10:30.

Supporters were draped in free flags which simply read: ‘Home’.

Chloe Kelly’s extra-time winner against Germany at Wembley on Sunday was still fresh in the memory as families arrived singing and dancing, including one girl dressed in full lioness regalia.

Flags were waving and chants were already beginning well over two hours before those in attendance were even going to get a glimpse of the European champions.

George Taylor, 26, from Tooting in south London, has become a fan of women’s football in the last four years.

He said: ‘I saw Germany play at Brentford and it was difficult to get tickets, which was nice in a way, for the women’s game.

‘Because the men’s game is so iffy at the moment, it’s good that the women’s game is becoming more popular.’

On the men’s game, he said: ‘It’s the money and the general behaviour from a lot of the men. It’s aggressive and so cultish whereas the women’s game is much more nice and friendly.

‘The quality (of football) is really high for the women.

‘It’s good to see because it used to be the argument that the quality’s not as good as the men’s but now it’s really good.’

The FA’s director of women’s football, Baroness Sue Campbell, said England’s win will make a ‘phenomenal difference’.

She told BBC News: ‘I think it’ll really take it to another level. But I think what happened yesterday was much broader than football.

‘I think it will change the perception of women in sport generally, and I hope give women and girls real optimism that if they want to do something in life, whatever it is, if they work at it, they’re going to achieve it.’

Baroness Campbell said she is not surprised at the TV viewing figures, adding: ‘I think we’ve inspired a nation here.

‘It’s not just people who are interested in football before. We’ve got lots of new people who’ve watched the women’s game, and lots of people who I hope will continue to support and watch the women’s game.

‘But we’ve also inspired lots of youngsters to realise that sport, football, is for them.’

England captain Leah Williamson enjoys a beer and salutes her teammates in the victorious Wembley dressing room last night

England captain Leah Williamson enjoys a beer and salutes her teammates in the victorious Wembley dressing room last night 

Mary Earps dances on the table as players of England interrupt the press conference with Sarina Wiegman singing Three Lions

Mary Earps dances on the table as players of England interrupt the press conference with Sarina Wiegman singing Three Lions

Prince William embraces Leah Williamson following the Lionesses' win during the UEFA Women's Euro England 2022 final

Prince William embraces Leah Williamson following the Lionesses’ win during the UEFA Women’s Euro England 2022 final

Women splash in a fountain in Trafalgar Square as they celebrate England's win thanks to Chloe Kelly's final goal

Women splash in a fountain in Trafalgar Square as they celebrate England’s win thanks to Chloe Kelly’s final goal

Yvonne Morrison, 61, has taken her grandson Ronnie, nine, to catch a glimpse of the Lionesses at Trafalgar Square.

Ms Morrison, from Wiltshire, told the PA news agency that it was ‘just absolutely amazing that they’ve been able to get this far, and that they’ve raised the profile of women’s football, it’s long overdue.

‘Hopefully it will raise their salaries, and status. It’s about time they were on an equal par.’

She added that ‘what’s really nice for us is that Ronnie’s obviously male, and he’s very interested in female football as well’.

Nine-year-old football fan Ronnie said it was ‘amazing’ to celebrate the win with his grandma.

Chris and Jan Copley, in their 70s, from Greenford, west London attended.

Chris said: ‘We watched every game. We watched the final in the pub and the atmosphere was great.

‘We’ve been watching the women’s team for a while.

‘We saw them in the World Cup so we follow them a bit.’

Jan said: ‘It was great to see them win.’

Ryan Grumbridge, 40, and Gemma Grumbridge, 43, travelled from Oldham to London to watch the Euros final at Wembley Stadium on Sunday night with their two daughters.

Mr Grumbridge, who is a coach for the 250-strong girls’ football club Crompton FC, said this is a ‘massive’ moment for women’s football.

‘It’s good for them to get some recognition – I hope it keeps growing and growing, and we’ll carry on getting decent-sized crowds.’

He said the Lionesses are ‘fantastic role models’ for his daughters Ruby and Amelia, aged 11 and 13.

‘They’ve got a fantastic bond as well,’ he added. ‘They seem like great friends, [Ruby] follows them all on TikTok.’

Ms Grumbridge told the PA news agency it was ‘absolutely amazing’ to be in London to watch the game at Wembley, with ‘lots of singing, lots of cheering… incredible’.

The Lionesses had arrived back at their team hotel just before 11pm and had danced with delight on oval garden at the entrance. They headed to a recreation room fitted out with giant bean bags and other home comforts where the party took place.

A hotel guest said : ‘Everyone was clapping and cheering when they came in. I am sure it was one hell of a party. If anyone deserved to celebrate it was the Lionesses’.

Other players, including Millie Bright and Alex Greenwood, emerged from the hotel in the morning prior to the party in Trafalgar Square. They were accompanied by an FA official and declined to comment. The most energetic was Hannah Hampton who walked down the steps of the hotel dancing. 

David Williamson, 52, the proud father of captain Leah, 25, said the atmosphere last night was ‘amazing..the girls were obviously enjoying it, just fantastic really’.

He said: ‘We’re very happy…all the girls just, I think they know that they kind of created history, I guess and I think they enjoyed it last night. ‘It was fantastic. Everyone was very happy.’ Dressed in a white t-shirt which said ‘home’ in red lettering he said he was ‘unbelievably proud of Leah, I mean not just her the girls have just done amazing’. 

He said there was ‘a little bit of singing’ as part of the celebrations last night as the girls were ‘just releasing a lot of tension’ following weeks of hard training.

Mr Williamson said he would be having breakfast and then heading to Trafalgar Square to continue the celebrations there. 

The team were also enjoying themselves last night, singing Sweet Caroline with the crowd before enjoying a few beers and some dancing in the changing room at Wembley. There were also joyous scenes on the team bus and at the hotel in west London – as well as tears of joy when the players were reunited with their families and partners.

Experts have said the women’s game will now ‘explode’ but there is growing criticism that just 66 per cent of primary schools and 44 per cent of secondary schools offer girls the same access to football as boys in PE lessons. Ian Wright has suggested that England’s policy makers will throw away the legacy of the win if girls don’t get the same chances as boys, warning that MPs and businesses will be ‘jumping on’ the Euro 2022 victory and must be forced to invest in the game.

Alex Scott said today that the Lionesses’ Euro 2022 victory would be a game changer in terms of raising the profile of women’s football.

She told BBC Breakfast: ‘These Lionesses have raised the bar. They have changed the way women’s football is viewed in this country. The train has left the station and it is gathering pace. It will be tragic to take any steps back after what we have witnessed yesterday and through the whole tournament. There must be an opportunity for every single girl to play football if they want to.’

Match winner Chloe Kelly celebrates on the team coach after the Euro 2022 winner

Match winner Chloe Kelly celebrates on the team coach after the Euro 2022 winner

The Euro 2022 on ice with some beers in a picture taken by Georgia Stanway

The Euro 2022 on ice with some beers in a picture taken by Georgia Stanway

Goalkeeper Mary Earps captures dancing on the team bus after the big win

Goalkeeper Mary Earps captures dancing on the team bus after the big win

Alex Greenwood and Ellie Roebuck kiss their medals

Alex Greenwood and Ellie Roebuck kiss their medals

Alessia Russo and Mary Earps show off their new medals

Alessia Russo and Mary Earps show off their new medals

Ellen White with the trophy and her winners medal

Ellen White with the trophy and her winners medal

Marty Earps enjoyed a dance in the dressing room and also posing biting her gold medal

Marty Earps enjoyed a dance in the dressing room and also posing biting her gold medal

Marty Earps enjoyed a dance in the dressing room and also posing biting her gold medal

Leah Williamson dances in the changing room with her teammates

Leah Williamson dances in the changing room with her teammates

Lauren Hemp poses with the trophy on the Wembley pitch

Lauren Hemp poses with the trophy on the Wembley pitch

Alex Greenwood was among the stars sharing celebration snaps on Insta

Alex Greenwood was among the stars sharing celebration snaps on Insta

Alex Greenwood was among the stars sharing celebration snaps on Insta

England captain Leah Williamson hugs a relative in the team hotel after lifting the trophy

England captain Leah Williamson hugs a relative in the team hotel after lifting the trophy 

Stars on the back seat of the bus on the way back to the team hotel for more partying

Stars on the back seat of the bus on the way back to the team hotel for more partying

Keira Walsh on the team coach leaving Wembley

Keira Walsh on the team coach leaving Wembley

Ella Toone with the trophy and her winner's medal

Ella Toone with the trophy and her winner’s medal

Lauren Hemp and Beth Mead on what they have called the best day of their lives

Lauren Hemp and Beth Mead on what they have called the best day of their lives

Lauren Hemp and Beth Mead on what they have called the best day of their lives

Ella Toone having a ball after the historic win

Ella Toone having a ball after the historic win

Spectators at Wembley included the Duke of Cambridge, whose seven-year-old daughter Princess Charlotte had earlier filmed a ‘good luck’ message for the team.

Meanwhile, as many as 15million more were watching around the UK on television – another record for women’s football – including Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his children Wilf, two, and seven-month-old Romy.

The Queen led the praise, telling them in a statement ‘You have all set an example that will be an inspiration for girls and women today, and for future generations’.

The result sent the Lionesses into raptures, with the victorious women storming into Sarina Wiegman’s post-match press conference singing the Baddiel, Skinner and The Lightning Seeds anthem Three Lions.

The celebrations continued in the Wembley changing room as the players were seen dancing and laughing – enjoying their historic achievement.

Yesterday’s final was a tense 90 minutes with flying tackles and yellow cards peppering a highly-energetic match, watched by Prince William in the crowd.

But the introduction of Ella Toone looked to have settled it after she broke to fizz a shot past helpless German keeper Merle Frohms watched by a record 87,192 in the stadium.

But there was heartbreak minutes later as Magull worked her way into position to equalise, devastating England fans across the country.

With only ten minutes left, the game was left balancing on a knife edge with the ultimate prize at stake.

The stalemate could not be broken, going into another agonising 30 more minutes of extra time which at first had produced nothing more.

But Kelly was not about to let the game go to penalties and picked the biggest stage in the world to produce her first ever international goal.

She dominated German keeper Frohms to propel England to a 2-1 lead and set the game beyond any doubt.

Yesterday in a statement The Queen said the women would go down in history and be icons of sport.

She said: ‘My warmest congratulations, and those of my family, go to you all on winning the European Women’s Football Championships.

‘It is a significant achievement for the entire team, including your support staff.

‘The Championships and your performance in them have rightly won praise.

‘However, your success goes far beyond the trophy you have so deservedly earned.

‘You have all set an example that will be an inspiration for girls and women today, and for future generations.

‘It is my hope that you will be as proud of the impact you have had on your sport as you are of the result today.’

From left: Ellie Roebuck, Rachel Daly and Beth Mead of England celebrate in the changing room with the Women's EURO 2022 Trophy

From left: Ellie Roebuck, Rachel Daly and Beth Mead of England celebrate in the changing room with the Women’s EURO 2022 Trophy

Mary Earps dances on the Press Conference table as players of England interrupt the Press Conference with Sarina Wiegman, the team's manager, following their win

Mary Earps dances on the Press Conference table as players of England interrupt the Press Conference with Sarina Wiegman, the team’s manager, following their win

Mary Earps climbs onto the table as players of England interrupt the Press Conference with Sarina Wiegman

Mary Earps climbs onto the table as players of England interrupt the Press Conference with Sarina Wiegman

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, embraces Leah Williamson of England after their 2-1 win during the UEFA Women's Euro 2022 final match

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, embraces Leah Williamson of England after their 2-1 win during the UEFA Women’s Euro 2022 final match

The Lionesses 'gatecrashed' manager Sarina Wiegman¿s press conference singing 'football's coming home'

The Lionesses ‘gatecrashed’ manager Sarina Wiegman’s press conference singing ‘football’s coming home’

The team sang and danced as they surrounded their manager, their joy at winning unreserved

The team sang and danced as they surrounded their manager, their joy at winning unreserved 

The Lionesses danced around the press conference table, climbing on top in front of cameras as celebrations continued

The Lionesses danced around the press conference table, climbing on top in front of cameras as celebrations continued

The England Women's team arrive back at their team hotel, drinks in hand, after winning the Euros

The England Women’s team arrive back at their team hotel, drinks in hand, after winning the Euros

The athletes danced around the trophy with drinks in hand as they celebrated the win from inside the changing rooms

The athletes danced around the trophy with drinks in hand as they celebrated the win from inside the changing rooms

The team of women partied in their changing room at Wembley after winning the Euros against Germany

The team of women partied in their changing room at Wembley after winning the Euros against Germany 

Cheers! Ellie Roebuck raises a can of Heineken as she toasts to the winning game that saw England take home the trophy

Cheers! Ellie Roebuck raises a can of Heineken as she toasts to the winning game that saw England take home the trophy

Jubilant scenes from inside the changing room show the group celebrating together after defeating Germany on the pitch

Jubilant scenes from inside the changing room show the group celebrating together after defeating Germany on the pitch

Jess Carter and Fran Kirby of England celebrate with the UEFA Women's EURO 2022 trophy in the changing room

Jess Carter and Fran Kirby of England celebrate with the UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 trophy in the changing room

Fans celebrate the final whistle by splashing in Trafalgar Square's fountains in the capital

Fans celebrate the final whistle by splashing in Trafalgar Square’s fountains in the capital 

Bethany England celebrates by lifting the UEFA European Women's Football Championship trophy

Bethany England celebrates by lifting the UEFA European Women’s Football Championship trophy

England's Ellen White lifts the trophy as she celebrates with teammates after winning the Women's Euro 2022

England’s Ellen White lifts the trophy as she celebrates with teammates after winning the Women’s Euro 2022

England's Chloe Kelly celebrates with fans after winning Women's Euro 2022 against Germany

England’s Chloe Kelly celebrates with fans after winning Women’s Euro 2022 against Germany 

England's Hannah Hampton celebrates after winning Women's Euro 2022 against Germany

England’s Hannah Hampton celebrates after winning Women’s Euro 2022 against Germany 

England's Ella Toone takes a selfie after winning the UEFA Women's Euro 2022 final between England and Germany

England’s Ella Toone takes a selfie after winning the UEFA Women’s Euro 2022 final between England and Germany

England's Leah Williamson and Millie Bright lift the trophy as they celebrate with teammates after winning Euro 2022

England’s Leah Williamson and Millie Bright lift the trophy as they celebrate with teammates after winning Euro 2022

Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, centre right, shakes hands with England's Lucy Bronze during a medal ceremony

Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, centre right, shakes hands with England’s Lucy Bronze during a medal ceremony

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin hand the trophy to England's Leah Williamson

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin hand the trophy to England’s Leah Williamson

The Duke of Cambridge congratulates England's Beth Mead alongside UEFA's Chief of Women's football Nadine Kessler

The Duke of Cambridge congratulates England’s Beth Mead alongside UEFA’s Chief of Women’s football Nadine Kessler

She's done it! Chloe Kelly, 24, roars with joy as she celebrates third goal which settled the Euro 2022 final against Germany

She’s done it! Chloe Kelly, 24, roars with joy as she celebrates third goal which settled the Euro 2022 final against Germany

Rachel Daly of England celebrates following the UEFA Women's Euro 2022 final as the Lionesses take home the win

Rachel Daly of England celebrates following the UEFA Women’s Euro 2022 final as the Lionesses take home the win

Lauren Hemp of England celebrates the team's win as she lies down in confetti covering the pitch

Lauren Hemp of England celebrates the team’s win as she lies down in confetti covering the pitch

England players celebrate on the confetti-scattered grass in Wembley stadium following their Euros win against Germany

England players celebrate on the confetti-scattered grass in Wembley stadium following their Euros win against Germany 

England's players celebrate with the trophy after their win in the UEFA Women's Euro 2022 final football match

England’s players celebrate with the trophy after their win in the UEFA Women’s Euro 2022 final football match

Chloe Kelly of England takes photos with family following the England win last night

Chloe Kelly of England takes photos with family following the England win last night

Alessia Russo and Ella Toone of England, wearing a bucket hat, celebrate with the UEFA Women's EURO 2022 Trophy

Alessia Russo and Ella Toone of England, wearing a bucket hat, celebrate with the UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 Trophy

An England fan holds a 'Millie Bright You're My Idol' sign in the stands as England celebrate winning

An England fan holds a ‘Millie Bright You’re My Idol’ sign in the stands as England celebrate winning

England's Nikita Parris and teammates celebrate after winning the women's Euro 2022 tournament at Wembley Stadium

England’s Nikita Parris and teammates celebrate after winning the women’s Euro 2022 tournament at Wembley Stadium

England's Leah Williamson and Millie Bright lift the trophy as they celebrate with teammates following their win

England’s Leah Williamson and Millie Bright lift the trophy as they celebrate with teammates following their win

Leah Williamson of England Women greets match referee Kateryna Monzul after the game

Leah Williamson of England Women greets match referee Kateryna Monzul after the game

England celebrates following the UEFA Women's Euro 2022 final

England celebrates following the UEFA Women’s Euro 2022 final

Ella Toone and Alessia Russo of England celebrate with the trophy during the UEFA Women's Euro England 2022 final

Ella Toone and Alessia Russo of England celebrate with the trophy during the UEFA Women’s Euro England 2022 final

Ella Toone and Alessia Russo of England celebrate after taking home the trophy

Ella Toone and Alessia Russo of England celebrate after taking home the trophy 

England fans in Boxpark Croydon celebrate after they won the final against Germany

England fans in Boxpark Croydon celebrate after they won the final against Germany 

England fans celebrate in the stands after they won the women's Euro 2022 after being held 1-1 until extra time

England fans celebrate in the stands after they won the women’s Euro 2022 after being held 1-1 until extra time

Fans celebrate the final whistle in Trafalgar Square, London, after watching the screening of the UEFA Women's Euro 2022 final held at Wembley Stadium

Fans celebrate the final whistle in Trafalgar Square, London, after watching the screening of the UEFA Women’s Euro 2022 final held at Wembley Stadium

Hannah Hampton, Alex Greenwood and Lotte Wubben-Moy following the England win

 Hannah Hampton, Alex Greenwood and Lotte Wubben-Moy following the England win

Beth Mead of England celebrates lifting the UEFA European Women's Football Championship trophy

Beth Mead of England celebrates lifting the UEFA European Women’s Football Championship trophy

Top of the world: Chloe Kelly waves her jersey round her head after she scored the crucial winning goal with minutes to spare

Top of the world: Chloe Kelly waves her jersey round her head after she scored the crucial winning goal with minutes to spare

England's Chloe Kelly, top, celebrates with teammates after scoring her side's second goal

England’s Chloe Kelly, top, celebrates with teammates after scoring her side’s second goal

Millie Bright kisses her medal as England's players celebrate after their win

Millie Bright kisses her medal as England’s players celebrate after their win

The Lionesses celebrate their win on the pitch at Wembley Stadium following the UEFA Women's Euro 2022 final match between England and Germany

The Lionesses celebrate their win on the pitch at Wembley Stadium following the UEFA Women’s Euro 2022 final match between England and Germany

The England team celebrate with the trophy in front of the row of photographers

The England team celebrate with the trophy in front of the row of photographers

Pride of Britain: Lioness Chloe Kelly celebrates with teammate Jill Scott after the important their goal in extra time

Pride of Britain: Lioness Chloe Kelly celebrates with teammate Jill Scott after the important their goal in extra time

Pure joy for England as they realise the third goal has catapulted them into the history books against the German team

Pure joy for England as they realise the third goal has catapulted them into the history books against the German team

England head coach Sarina Wiegman celebrates with the trophy following the win

England head coach Sarina Wiegman celebrates with the trophy following the win

England manager Sarina Wiegman celebrates after winning Women's Euro 2022 finals after the extraordinary victory

Sarina Wiegman, Manager of England celebrates victory

England manager Sarina Wiegman celebrates after winning Women’s Euro 2022 finals after the extraordinary victory

Sarina Wiegman, Manager of England celebrate with Beth Mead after the UEFA Women's Euro 2022 final

Sarina Wiegman, Manager of England celebrate with Beth Mead after the UEFA Women’s Euro 2022 final

Fran Kirby of England celebrates with the UEFA Women's EURO 2022 Trophy after their side's victory

Fran Kirby of England celebrates with the UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 Trophy after their side’s victory

Ellen White celebrates after winning Women's Euro 2022 after yellow cards peppered a highly-energetic match

Ellen White celebrates after winning Women’s Euro 2022 after yellow cards peppered a highly-energetic match

England's Ellen White celebrates with the trophy following this evening's win against Germany

England’s Ellen White celebrates with the trophy following this evening’s win against Germany

England's head coach Sarina Wiegman (centre) celebrates with the trophy following the team's win

England’s head coach Sarina Wiegman (centre) celebrates with the trophy following the team’s win

Lauren Hemp and Chloe Kelly of England celebrate following victory

Lauren Hemp and Chloe Kelly of England celebrate following victory

Fans celebrate the final whistle in Trafalgar Square with cheers for England's Lionesses

Fans celebrate the final whistle in Trafalgar Square with cheers for England’s Lionesses

Fans celebrate in the stadium as England take home the trophy, having beaten Germany 2-1

Fans celebrate in the stadium as England take home the trophy, having beaten Germany 2-1

Fans celebrate the final whistle by splashing in Trafalgar Square's fountains in the capital

Fans celebrate the final whistle by splashing in Trafalgar Square’s fountains in the capital 

Fans dance in the Trafalgar Square fountains as they celebrate the win following Kelly's final goal

Fans dance in the Trafalgar Square fountains as they celebrate the win following Kelly’s final goal

England football fans celebrate in Trafalgar Square at full time as England win the UEFA Euro womens championship final

England football fans celebrate in Trafalgar Square at full time as England win the UEFA Euro womens championship final

England fans in Boxpark Croydon celebrate after Ella Toone scored their first goal

England fans in Boxpark Croydon celebrate after Ella Toone scored their first goal

The Queen has showed support for the Lionesses after their historic win, saying they will set an example for women and girls

The Queen has showed support for the Lionesses after their historic win, saying they will set an example for women and girls

 

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge tweeted their support for the Lionesses after their historic win

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge tweeted their support for the Lionesses after their historic win 

The Spice Girls praised the Lionesses for their ‘girl power’ following their historic win against Germany.

Geri Horner and Mel C were at the game last night and posed in England t-shirts for photos celebrating the win.

The 48-year-old and 49-year-old Wannabe hitmakers nailed sports chic in football attire as they watched England’s Lionesses beat Germany.

Melanie flashed a peace sign as she and Geri posed for a selfie, which was posted to Instagram by the Watford-native alongside the caption: ‘At the final! @lionesses !’ 

The British girl group reshared a photo of the England women’s football squad celebrating on Twitter, writing: ‘Congratulations @Lionesses True GirlPower right there.’ 

Scoring the final goal of the match, Kelly’s sheer joy saw her rip her jersey off and wave it round her head – and get a yellow card for her trouble.

She said after the match: ‘Oh my God – look at them. It’s amazing! This is unreal!’

Kelly then abandoned the post-match interview to sing Sweet Caroline with her teammates. 

When she returned she said: ‘This is what dreams are made of, as a young girl watching women’s football to this – it’s amazing. These girls are special.’ 

England’s heroine of the hour: How Chloe Kelly went from the 92 bus and football practice on a gravel pitch in Ealing with her five big brothers to clinching victory for the Lionesses in extra time 

By CHRIS WHEELER FOR THE DAILY MAIL and CHAY QUINN FOR MAILONLINE 

Chloe Kelly would have found it hard to avoid football growing up. The youngest of seven children embraced the sport from the moment she followed her five brothers to a caged gravel pitch on the Windmill Park Estate.

Kelly was football-mad. As a youngster she even took the 92 bus from Ealing to go to Wembley on FA Cup Final day. Was she there to watch the match? No. She was there to collect a programme.

That yearly pilgrimage helped form the Lioness with the location taking on a whole new meaning yesterday: as she scored the goal at Wembley against Germany to bring England its first piece of footballing silverware since 1966.

‘I don’t think there are many who came up playing in a cage,’ says the 24-year-old. ‘I was always around the cage with the boys as soon as I was allowed, about the age of seven. My brothers included me even though they were older and playing with their friends.

Chloe Kelly, centre, celebrates with Lauren Hemp, left, and Jill Scott after scoring the winner in the Euro 2022 final for England

Chloe Kelly, centre, celebrates with Lauren Hemp, left, and Jill Scott after scoring the winner in the Euro 2022 final for England

As a youngster Kelly took the 92 bus from Ealing to go to Wembley on FA Cup Final day to collect a programme

As a youngster Kelly took the 92 bus from Ealing to go to Wembley on FA Cup Final day to collect a programme

She suffered injury setbacks in the past few years including a serious ACL injury in 2021

She suffered injury setbacks in the past few years including a serious ACL injury in 2021

Chloe Kelly has five brothers whom she used to with play football in the cages

Chloe Kelly and her brothers

Chloe Kelly has five brothers whom she used to with play football in the cages

‘The whole summer we would get out in the cage early mornings, go back for some food and be straight back there. A few years later, someone melted a bin in the middle. It wasn’t the best, but we had to make do with what we had!

‘Playing cage football really made me the player I am. It added a bit more creativity to my game and the physicality as well.’

Were the brothers protective? ‘Definitely not. They were probably the ones telling everyone to hit me harder. Get used to it. If I was on the floor, they would tell me to get up.

‘They never really felt sorry for me if I was getting knocked about. I think that was the way to go. If they made it easy, you would always think everything is going to come easy in life and that’s not the case. That’s how I’ve got so far today.

‘I was one of them. Looking back, I really appreciate that but less so at the time. I was a bit gutted going home and crying to my mum sometimes.’

Kelly grew up playing in Ealing's football cages with her five brothers which she credits her physicality and creativity to

Kelly grew up playing in Ealing’s football cages with her five brothers which she credits her physicality and creativity to

Kelly will now go down in historic alongside the likes of Geoff Hurst as having scored in international final for England

Kelly will now go down in historic alongside the likes of Geoff Hurst as having scored in international final for England

Kelly says her formative experiences on her west London estate helped improve her game

Kelly says her formative experiences on her west London estate helped improve her game

Kelly watches elder brother Jack and triplets Ryan, Jamie and Martin play local league football when she is back in west London.

‘Jack still says now that he’s better than me,’ says Kelly who has another brother, Daniel, and sister, Paris. ‘He says, ‘I’ve taught you everything you know, but not everything I know’. They don’t let me get too carried away. They always keep me grounded and that’s a great thing.’

After being scouted by QPR at a schools tournament – ‘it was my first real game because I was used to playing in the cages’ – Kelly turned professional with Arsenal. She took the bold decision to move to Everton, initially on loan, in 2016 even though it led to homesickness and regular calls to her mum Jane and dad Noel.

The England striker has revealed she often felt homesick after move to Everton in 2016

The England striker has revealed she often felt homesick after move to Everton in 2016

Kelly was top scorer in the FA WSL when the season was ended prematurely due to pandemic

Kelly was top scorer in the FA WSL when the season was ended prematurely due to pandemic

‘If I hadn’t gone to Everton, I don’t know if I would be in the position I’m in now at City and pushing on in my career,’ she says. ‘I could have been satisfied with sitting on the bench at a top club but I needed minutes under my belt. I needed to show what I was capable of on the pitch, not just the training pitch. I don’t think a lot of people would make that leap of moving to a city I’d never been to before at such a young age.

‘It was very daunting. Because I was such a family girl, I got homesick and every opportunity I got I would be back, but I knew it was the best for my career.’

Kelly was fourth in the Women’s Super League scoring charts with nine goals for Everton when the season was ended. City, who were top at the time but saw Chelsea crowned champions on a points-per-game basis, signed Kelly in July 2020 and she scored an impressive 10 goals and made 11 assists in her first season in Manchester.

‘Once I found out City were interested in me it was a case of, ‘OK, when can we get it done?’. I can’t wait to get going,’ says Kelly. ‘There are a lot of England internationals here and that was massive for me. If I get another call-up, it’s easier going into that environment by playing with those players day in, day out.

The demons of missing out on England's 2019 World Cup run have been banished by her heroics in the Euros final

The demons of missing out on England’s 2019 World Cup run have been banished by her heroics in the Euros final

‘I looked at playing with the likes of Steph Houghton and Jill Scott, learning, adding to my game. I’m ambitious and I want to be the best version of myself.’

She only made one appearance in the WSL last season after suffering a heartbreaking ACL injury which jeopardised her ability to compete in this summer’s Euros.

But she roared back and made Sarina Wiegman’s squad for the home tournament.

It was the latest rally back from injury that Kelly had to endure. She made her England debut in November 2018 as a substitute against Austria in a friendly but suffered an ankle injury that required surgery the following February.

It kept her out for six months and out of contention for a place at the 2019 World Cup, where new team-mate Ellen White scored six goals as England reached the semi-finals.

But the demons of missing out on that run have been banished by her heroics in the Euros final yesterday, following up on a spilled ball in the 20th minute of extra time to send England into dreamland. 

No flashy footballers here! The VERY low-key lives of England’s Lionesses – from Leah Williamson training to be an accountant to Lucy Bronze’s old job at Domino’s – and the proud plus-ones who are their biggest fans

England’s Lionesses have captured the hearts of the nation following their historic win last night after beating Germany 2-1 at the Euro 2022 final.

But what do we know about Sarina Wiegman’s squad’s top players and their lives away from the pitch?

The team was led by captain Leah Williamson, who is balancing her career in football with training to be an accountant.

She was joined throughout the tournament by Lucy Bronze, who once worked at a Domino’s pizza takeaway, and self declared ‘girly-girl’ Alex Greenwood.

Meanwhile team-mate Georgia Stanway, who is dating Rugby League player Olly Ashall-Bott, also featured in the games – having won high praise from previous England Women’s boss Phil Neville, who has said the Manchester City player could be among the best in the world.

Elsewhere, teammate Millie Bright’s childhood was marred by hospital visits; she was only eight days old when she was diagnosed with pneumonia.

Here, FEMAIL takes a look at the lives of the players when they’re not playing football… 

LEAH WILLIAMSON

Leah Williamson, a central defender, has been praised for having every attribute: pace, temperament and time on the ball

The Arsenal star has amassed 200,000 followers on Instagram, where she often posts images of her outings with fellow footballers like Alex Scott (pictured centre)

The Arsenal star has amassed 200,000 followers on Instagram, where she often posts images of her outings with fellow footballers like Alex Scott (pictured centre) 

And in May, she was invited by Gucci to Puglia to witness her first-ever fashion show (pictured, on the trip)

And in May, she was invited by Gucci to Puglia to witness her first-ever fashion show (pictured, on the trip) 

The Duke of Cambridge attended the England's women football team training session during a visit of their training centre at St George's Park, in Burton-upon-Trent

The Duke of Cambridge attended the England’s women football team training session during a visit of their training centre at St George’s Park, in Burton-upon-Trent

The 25-year-old, from Milton Keynes, has been playing since she was six and has called it her 'first love and passion'

The 25-year-old, from Milton Keynes, has been playing since she was six and has called it her ‘first love and passion’

Leah Williamson, a central defender, has been praised for having every attribute: pace, temperament and time on the ball.

The 25-year-old, from Milton Keynes, has been playing since she was six and has called it her ‘first love and passion’. 

She went on to join Arsenal at the age of nine, having been born into an Arsenal-supporting family.

After watching long jumper Greg Rutherford, who also comes from Milton Keynes, at the 2012 Summer Olympics she briefly considered switching her athletic focus to track and field.

However, luckily for the England squad she stayed focused on her dreams of becoming a footballer. 

‘She leads by example and what you see is what you get,’ vice-captain Millie Bright said.  ‘She is a very mature individual, both on and off the pitch. She is very calm in the way she leads. 

‘It’s been a delight to see her lead the team out and it’s been a big moment for her.’ She’s a very humble person, and player, both on and off the field,’ White told the Scotsman.

‘I think sometimes with a captain, it is not just what you do away from the game – how you act around the team, and the media. And I think Leah is great with that because it isn’t an act – that is just her, and who she is.’ 

As well as balancing her career as a professional footballer, Leah is also training to be an accountant. 

The Arsenal star has amassed 200,000 followers on Instagram, where she often posts images of her outings with fellow footballers like Alex Scott. 

And in May, she was invited by Gucci to Puglia to witness her first-ever fashion show.

The captain was also among the footballers who met with the Duke of Cambridge last month and presented him with three football shirts for his children.

RACHEL DALY

Millie and Rachel spent last Christmas together during lockdown, with Rachel suggesting a difficult festive period was made much better for having Millie by her side

Millie and Rachel spent last Christmas together during lockdown, with Rachel suggesting a difficult festive period was made much better for having Millie by her side

Millie and Rachel recently went to a fancy dress party in matching 'goth' outfits

Millie and Rachel recently went to a fancy dress party in matching ‘goth’ outfits

Millie and Rachel are in a long distance relationship while Rachel plays for a team in Texas but the pair manage to keep their relationship strong

Millie and Rachel are in a long distance relationship while Rachel plays for a team in Texas but the pair manage to keep their relationship strong

Millie Turner, 26, is also a Lioness who plays at a club level for Manchester United

Millie Turner, 26, is also a Lioness who plays at a club level for Manchester United

After England's 4-0 win over Sweden, Rachel (pictured during last night's game) donned a cowboy hat imprinted with the England flag before strutting around the pitch to celebrate

After England’s 4-0 win over Sweden, Rachel (pictured during last night’s game) donned a cowboy hat imprinted with the England flag before strutting around the pitch to celebrate

Lioness and US National Women’s Soccer League player Rachel Daly is dating fellow footballer Millie Turner.

Millie, who plays for Manchester United, has also been capped for England as part of the Lioness squad, and has been pictured training with her girlfriend in the past.

The couple have a long-distance relationship while Millie remains in the UK playing for Manchester United, but according to her Instagram, she finds plenty of time to travel to Texas and see her girlfriend. 

Photos show the pair sitting together at the beach and making a fuss of Rachel’s rescue dog.

During lockdown, the couple spent lots of time together, with Rachel posting a picture of the two of them on Christmas Day.

She wrote: ‘The hardest Christmas made as special as it could’ in an apparent reference to spending the festive period away from their families.

After England’s 4-0 win over Sweden, Rachel donned a cowboy hat imprinted with the England flag before strutting around the pitch to celebrate.

Posting a video of her girlfriend on Twitter, Millie wrote: ‘Guys if anyone else has anymore videos of Rach dancing please send them me cos I am laughing my head off.’

She added: ‘You can take a girl out of Texas but you can’t take the Texas out of a girl.’

GEORGIA STANWAY 

Sports power couple: England's Georgia Stanway with Rugby League player Olly Ashall-Bott

Sports power couple: England’s Georgia Stanway with Rugby League player Olly Ashall-Bott

Georgia Stanway has won high praise from England Women's boss Phil Neville, who has said the Manchester City player could be among the best in the world (pictured right, Georgia, and left, team-mate Leah Williamson)

Georgia Stanway has won high praise from England Women’s boss Phil Neville, who has said the Manchester City player could be among the best in the world (pictured right, Georgia, and left, team-mate Leah Williamson) 

Rising star: New Bayern Munich forward Georgia was the youngest player in England's World Cup squad three years ago but has already proved herself a natural leader and is considered an integral part of the team

Rising star: New Bayern Munich forward Georgia was the youngest player in England’s World Cup squad three years ago but has already proved herself a natural leader and is considered an integral part of the team

She is currently signed to Manchester City, whom she joined as an 18-year-old from Blackburn Rovers (pictured right, Georgia with a friend)

She is currently signed to Manchester City, whom she joined as an 18-year-old from Blackburn Rovers (pictured right, Georgia with a friend) 

In 2016, she was nominated for Young Sports Personality of the Year. It was the first in a string of nominations for the striker, who has gone on to be named the UEFA Women¿s Champions League squad in 2018 and PFA Women's Young Player of the Year in 2019

In 2016, she was nominated for Young Sports Personality of the Year. It was the first in a string of nominations for the striker, who has gone on to be named the UEFA Women’s Champions League squad in 2018 and PFA Women’s Young Player of the Year in 2019

Showing up to support: Stanway turns out to cheer on her rugby-playing beau when her schedule allows (as seen above)

Showing up to support: Stanway turns out to cheer on her rugby-playing beau when her schedule allows (as seen above)

Born in Barrow-in-Furness, Georgia Stanway, 23, has been praised for her skills on the pitch for years.

She comes from a sporting family. One brother, JP, plays football for Holker Old Boys in the North West Counties League and another, Wyll, appears almost as frequently in the Barrow Evening Mail as she does, with his cricketing performances for Furness.

She credits competition with the two in the garden and on the beach as key to her development, as well as her Blackburn manager AJ Goodwin.

Having grown up idolising Alan Shearer, she moved away from her hometown aged 16 to pursue her dream of playing football.  

Her coaches at City, where she was signed as an 18-year-old from Blackburn Rovers, say it is Stanway’s capacity to perform on any occasion which contributes to the stardust quality. 

Stanway’s mother, Joanne, tells of one pre-season at Blackburn in which the then 15-year-old felt her goal scoring was rusty, after she had missed a few one-on-ones in a friendly. 

Stanway put her mother in goal and, by her own account, she finished the session ‘black and blue, despite trying to dodge rather than save them’. 

In 2016, she was nominated for the BBC’s Young Sports Personality of the Year. 

It was the first in a string of nominations for the striker, who has gone on to be named the UEFA Women’s Champions League squad in 2018 and PFA Women’s Young Player of the Year in 2019. 

Phil Neville hailed her skills in 2019, saying: ‘If she keeps her feet on ground, keeps working hard, and keeps listening, she is going to be one of the best players in world football.’ 

The football star also shares a love of sport with her boyfriend: Rugby League player Olly Ashall-Bott, 24. 

Originally from Cheshire, Ashall-Bott currently plays for Toulouse Olympique in the Betfred Super League.

While the pair, who met in March 2018, seem very settled, they don’t plan to start a family any time soon.

The Mirror reports that despite many of Olly’s friends getting married, he and Georgia don’t have marriage or children in their immediate future.  

During lockdown Olly and Georgia got into fishing to keep themselves busy, and the pair still enjoy their hobby together now.

ALEX GREENWOOD

Alex Greenwood and Jack O'Connell, both 28, have known each other since their school days

Alex Greenwood and Jack O’Connell, both 28, have known each other since their school days

Like her team-mate Williamson, Liverpool-born Alex Greenwood, 29, joined a prestigious club at the age of eight, when she signed for Everton

Like her team-mate Williamson, Liverpool-born Alex Greenwood, 29, joined a prestigious club at the age of eight, when she signed for Everton

Alex (pictured after the match) is known as one of the most glamorous members of the squad, with team-mate Jordan Nobbs previously saying she is 'very big into her heels, her dresses and her eyelashes'

Alex (pictured after the match) is known as one of the most glamorous members of the squad, with team-mate Jordan Nobbs previously saying she is ‘very big into her heels, her dresses and her eyelashes’

Like her team-mate Leah, Liverpool-born Alex Greenwood, 29, joined a prestigious club at the age of eight, when she signed for Everton.

She told The Telegraph: ‘I played up with them [boys] and they treated me like a little sister. They didn’t push me away. Not being disrespectful, but probably because I was just as good as them if not better than them.

‘So for them it was, “Why would we push her away? She’s as good as us”. Maybe I have a different story to other people, but I never struggled or suffered, being a girl. If anything I got respected more because I was a girl.’

She later joined Liverpool, before signing to Manchester United. She is currently with Manchester City.

Alex is known as one of the most glamorous members of the squad, with team-mate Jordan Nobbs previously saying she is ‘very big into her heels, her dresses and her eyelashes’. 

In 2013, she revealed she is a ‘girly-girl’ and loves shopping as well as getting her hair and makeup done.

She told Liverpool Echo: ‘I’ve always been a girly girl and I love getting my hair done but that doesn’t mean I can’t play football.’

If there is anyone who understands the pressure of performing in a football match it is her boyfriend Jack O’Connell, 28, who plays as a centre-back for Sheffield United. 

The couple met at school and have been together for several years but prefer to keep a low profile on social media. 

They recently jetted off to Dubai for a sun-soaked holiday and shared snaps of the five-star experience on Instagram. 

However, she tends to keep a low profile on social media, having previously spoken about how difficult she finds online abuse.

She told The Independent that abuse she received after moving from United to rivals City left her ‘wrecked’, adding: ‘I don’t think people were aware of how badly it actually affected me, because I didn’t let my football suffer…

‘Even if your notifications are off, every time you go on social media to engage with your friends or whatever, it’s there. And naturally as a human being, the negative ones stick. Those are the ones that play in your mind.’

JILL SCOTT 

Jill Scott, 35, and her partner Shelly Unitt, 37, are still waiting to tie the knot after getting engaged during the Covid pandemic

Jill Scott, 35, and her partner Shelly Unitt, 37, are still waiting to tie the knot after getting engaged during the Covid pandemic

Jill Scott (right) and her fiancée Shelly Unitt have been together for around four years

Jill Scott (right) and her fiancée Shelly Unitt have been together for around four years 

Shelly and Jill own a coffee shop, Boxx 2 Boxx coffee, together in Manchester

Shelly and Jill own a coffee shop, Boxx 2 Boxx coffee, together in Manchester

Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, with England's Jill Scott after last night's match

Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, with England’s Jill Scott after last night’s match

Midfielder Jill Scott, who also plays for Manchester City, is engaged to Shelly Unitt.

The pair, who have been together for around six years, own the Boxx 2 Boxx coffee shop in Manchester together. 

As the sister of former Lionesses player Rachel Unitt, Shelly has long followed the England Women’s team around the world supporting her loved ones at matches. 

Scott, 35, announced her engagement to Shelly, 37, two and a half years ago in a sweet Instagram post showing off her diamond ring.

Posting on Instagram over Christmas in 2020, Jill said she and Shelly had wanted to host an engagement party for their friends and family but lockdown meant they would have to wait.

During lockdown Jill posted photos of the couple out together on their daily walks in the countryside.

LUCY BRONZE

Lucy Bronze, 30, knows about hard work - having once worked in a Domino's pizza takeaway

Lucy Bronze, 30, knows about hard work – having once worked in a Domino’s pizza takeaway

She did not take the traditional pathway to success and there was a time when the defender, who has dual nationality through her Portuguese father, thought she might never play for the Lionesses

She did not take the traditional pathway to success and there was a time when the defender, who has dual nationality through her Portuguese father, thought she might never play for the Lionesses

Lucy Bronze, 30, knows about hard work – having once worked in a Domino’s pizza takeaway.

She did not take the traditional pathway to success and there was a time when the defender, who has dual nationality through her Portuguese father, thought she might never play for the Lionesses.

She attended soccer camps in America with former US women’s coach Anson Dorrance, who later signed her to play for the University of North Carolina. Dorrance wrote to the FA as well as clubs in England to try and convince them of Bronze’s ability.

She previously explained: ‘I was 12-years-old and Anson said: “When you’re old enough we want you to play for the university, you’re going to be such a good player”, and he even wrote to a couple of people in England and told them about me. It kind of fell on deaf ears a bit, no one really got back to him. They might potentially be regretting that now!

‘To come from there, and take what is not considered the normal way, and make it to the top, makes everything I’ve done even more special.  It makes my family even more proud and I can pat myself on the back a little bit harder for it.’

Bronze has now capped 88 times by England and won the Silver Ball at the 2019 World Cup – the award which recognises the second-most outstanding player at the tournament. 

She has played for City and Liverpool, and went abroad with Lyon for three years. The experienced full back then returned to City in 2020.

Overall, she won five trophies across both stints, having lifted the Women’s Super League, two FA WSL Cups and two Women’s FA Cups.

Last month, defender Bronze completed her medical and penned a two-year deal to seal her sensational switch to Barcelona. 

MILLIE BRIGHT 

Born in Chesterfield in the East Midlands region of England, Millie Bright spent her youngest years immersed in equestrianism

Born in Chesterfield in the East Midlands region of England, Millie Bright spent her youngest years immersed in equestrianism

She began playing football at the age of nine, and decided to join the local team after seeing a friend play for the Killamarsh Dynamos

She began playing football at the age of nine, and decided to join the local team after seeing a friend play for the Killamarsh Dynamos

Born in Chesterfield in the East Midlands, Millie Bright’s childhood was marred by hospital visits. 

She was only eight days old when she was diagnosed with pneumonia and at one point she was in and out of hospital every other day as a result of terrible asthma and a whooping cough which did not subside until after her 14th birthday.

‘It was really quite bad,’ Bright has previously said about her health problems.

‘Eventually I had a steroid machine at home to help me but before I was old enough for that I had to get an ambulance whenever I was having an attack in the night. That would happen several times a week.

‘Getting older, my asthma has settled down a little bit now, but back then I just had to decide whether I would let it stop me playing or not.’

Millie, a keen equestrian, began playing football at the age of nine, and decided to join the local team after seeing a friend play for the Killamarsh Dynamos.

She was later scouted by Sheffield United and joined their academy team until age 16 before moving to Doncaster Rovers Belles in 2009. 

In December 2014, Bright signed with Chelsea ahead of the 2015 season where she remains today. 

In her downtime, Bright, who lives in Surrey, enjoys family time or dog walks with her partner Levi, and says she isn’t fussed by the excess that comes with a footballing career. 

She prefers casual clothes to big name brands, saying: ‘I don’t want young girls to think that you become a footballer and need expensive clothes to be validated.’

Bright, who has been barred from horse riding by insurers, is also invested in her charity work and is an ambassador for the children’s charity Make-A-Wish.

CHLOE KELLY

The pair attended England Men's Euro 2020 final at Wembley last year, when the Three Lions lost to Italy

The pair attended England Men’s Euro 2020 final at Wembley last year, when the Three Lions lost to Italy

Chloe Kelly with her boyfriend Scott. The pair have been together for at least three years

The pair celebrated their three year anniversary in June - with Chloe sharing a picture of them together with their dog

Chloe Kelly with her boyfriend Scott. The pair have been together for at least three years. The pair celebrated their three year anniversary in June – with Chloe sharing a picture of them together with their dog

Kelly says her formative experiences on her west London estate helped improve her game

Kelly says her formative experiences on her west London estate helped improve her game

Chloe Kelly, centre, celebrates with Lauren Hemp, left, and Jill Scott after scoring the winner in the Euro 2022 final for England

Chloe Kelly, centre, celebrates with Lauren Hemp, left, and Jill Scott after scoring the winner in the Euro 2022 final for England

Kelly with her mother. She previously shared a picture of her and her mother, under the caption: 'Been so good being home with the family, and being spoilt by this beautiful Mumma'

Kelly with her mother. She previously shared a picture of her and her mother, under the caption: ‘Been so good being home with the family, and being spoilt by this beautiful Mumma’

Chloe Kelly appears to have a close relationship with her father, who has been a key supporter of her footballer career.

The England star regularly shares pictures with her father, who regularly attends her games

Chloe Kelly appears to have a close relationship with her father, who has been a key supporter of her footballer career. The England star regularly shares pictures with her father, who regularly attends her games 

Kelly has shared pictures with her father and her mother who have been key supporters of their daughter's football career

Kelly has shared pictures with her father and her mother who have been key supporters of their daughter’s football career

As a youngster Kelly took the 92 bus from Ealing to go to Wembley on FA Cup Final day to collect a programme

As a youngster Kelly took the 92 bus from Ealing to go to Wembley on FA Cup Final day to collect a programme

Chloe Kelly would have found it hard to avoid football growing up. The youngest of seven children embraced the sport from the moment she followed her five brothers to a caged gravel pitch on the Windmill Park Estate.

Kelly was football-mad. As a youngster she even took the 92 bus from Ealing to go to Wembley on FA Cup Final day. Was she there to watch the match? No. She was there to collect a programme.

That yearly pilgrimage helped form the Lioness with the location taking on a whole new meaning yesterday: as she scored the goal at Wembley against Germany to bring England its first piece of footballing silverware since 1966.

‘I don’t think there are many who came up playing in a cage,’ says the 24-year-old. ‘I was always around the cage with the boys as soon as I was allowed, about the age of seven. 

‘My brothers included me even though they were older and playing with their friends.

‘The whole summer we would get out in the cage early mornings, go back for some food and be straight back there. 

‘A few years later, someone melted a bin in the middle. It wasn’t the best, but we had to make do with what we had!

‘Playing cage football really made me the player I am. It added a bit more creativity to my game and the physicality as well.’

Despite having five older brothers, Chloe said they weren’t always particularly protective of their baby sister.

She said: ‘They were probably the ones telling everyone to hit me harder. Get used to it. If I was on the floor, they would tell me to get up.

‘They never really felt sorry for me if I was getting knocked about. I think that was the way to go. If they made it easy, you would always think everything is going to come easy in life and that’s not the case. That’s how I’ve got so far today.

‘I was one of them. Looking back, I really appreciate that but less so at the time. I was a bit gutted going home and crying to my mum sometimes.’

She watches one of her brothers Jack, and the three triplets of the family, Ryan, Jamie and Martin play local league football when she’s back home in west London.

‘Jack still says now that he’s better than me,’ said Kelly who has another brother, Daniel, and sister, Paris. ‘He says, “I’ve taught you everything you know, but not everything I know”.

‘They don’t let me get too carried away. They always keep me grounded and that’s a great thing.’

Chloe was scouted by Queens Park Rangers at a school tournament and later turned professional when she signed for Arsenal.

While at the north London club she was regularly backed at matches by her supportive parents, father, Noel and mother, Jane, who attended her games.

The homebird moved to Merseyside to play for Everton in 2016, but frequently called her mother and father because she was feeling homesick. 

However, now playing for Manchester City, Chloe is grateful for her time at Everton and believes it shaped her into the player she is today.

In her personal life Chloe is in a relationship with her boyfriend Scott and the pair celebrated their third anniversary in June. 

After an ACL injury while playing in the Women’s Super League last season, Chloe’s future looked unsure and there was no guarantee she would even be able to play in the Women’s Euros 2022 – let alone score the winning goal of the tournament.

She has now sealed her place in history after tapping the ball into the goal in the 20th minute of extra time in the final against Germany and whipping her shirt off to celebrate – for which she was booked.

MARY EARPS 

Mary Earps, 29, a talented Manchester United goalkeeper, grew up supporting Liverpool

Mary Earps, 29, a talented Manchester United goalkeeper, grew up supporting Liverpool

Earps could have progressed in judo after becoming a junior black belt at the age of 15

Earps could have progressed in judo after becoming a junior black belt at the age of 15

But Earps credits dancing lessons for giving her the confidence to shout at defenders on the football pitch

But Earps credits dancing lessons for giving her the confidence to shout at defenders on the football pitch

Mary Earps, 29, a talented Manchester United goalkeeper, grew up supporting Liverpool.

Earps could have progressed in judo after becoming a junior black belt at the age of 15. 

But she credits dancing lessons for giving her the confidence to shout at defenders on the football pitch. 

She says: ‘When you’re doing a singing and dancing solo on stage to Pop Goes the Weasel, demanding your defender goes a little bit right or left doesn’t faze you.’ 

Earps was third choice for England at the 2019 World Cup and was left out in the cold towards the end of Phil Neville’s reign and the interim period under Hege Riise. 

It was Sarina Wiegman who brought the 29-year-old back into the fold and she has not looked back.

‘I had a period of time where I wasn’t involved and it was a very difficult time,’ Earps told Sportsmail earlier this year.

‘A lot of things happened behind closed doors. There was a lot of silence and a lot of loneliness and that was hard for me to deal with. Now I’m just enjoying and embracing every single moment.’

KEIRA WALSH 

Keira Walsh is England¿s midfield maestro and started out as a right-footed left back

Keira Walsh is England’s midfield maestro and started out as a right-footed left back

Walsh made her Manchester City debut at 16 and often had to turn up to training in her school uniform

Walsh made her Manchester City debut at 16 and often had to turn up to training in her school uniform

Walsh has previously spoken out about the pressure footballers face during a tournament

Walsh has previously spoken out about the pressure footballers face during a tournament

Keira Walsh is England’s midfield maestro and started out as a right-footed left back.

Walsh made her Manchester City debut at 16 and often had to turn up to training in her school uniform. 

Former team-mate Karen Bardsley recalled: ‘She came in one day wearing these little frilly white socks with her school uniform. Then she goes and marks Kelly Smith out of the League Cup final.’

Walsh has previously spoken out about the pressure footballers face during a tournament.

She said: ‘Footballers are held to a higher expectation where they can’t have an off day, a day where they don’t feel great. 

They’ve either got to play well or they are getting slated. I think a lot of people forget that players can have stuff going on.

‘But ultimately, I am a professional footballer, so I have to overcome that hurdle. I have to take it in my stride.’

ELLA TOONE

Glamorous football player Ella Toone has 88k followers on Instagram and regularly shares snaps of her nights out and training sessions

Glamorous football player Ella Toone has 88k followers on Instagram and regularly shares snaps of her nights out and training sessions

The Manchester United player previously played for Manchester City and Blackburn Rovers, and has represented England at under-17, under-19 and under-21 level

The Manchester United player previously played for Manchester City and Blackburn Rovers, and has represented England at under-17, under-19 and under-21 level

The Manchester United player previously played for Manchester City and Blackburn Rovers, and has represented England at under-17, under-19 and under-21 level

After leaving school, whilst playing for Manchester United, Ella (pictured with Alessia Russo) enrolled onto a Level 3 Extended Diploma Sport Science course at Wigan and Leigh College

After leaving school, whilst playing for Manchester United, Ella (pictured with Alessia Russo) enrolled onto a Level 3 Extended Diploma Sport Science course at Wigan and Leigh College 

She may be one of the youngest members of the team, but 21-year-old Ella Toone, from Manchester, is used to representing the country on an international stage.

The Manchester United player and fan first played for her club as a girl before returning four years ago following stints at Manchester City and Blackburn Rovers.

She has represented England at under-17, under-19 and under-21 level. 

After leaving school, whilst playing for Manchester United, she enrolled onto a Level 3 Extended Diploma Sport Science course at Wigan and Leigh College.

The glamorous football player has 88k followers on Instagram and regularly shares snaps of her nights out and training sessions.

She still finds time to watch Manchester United at home and away.  

‘I just love going and supporting; it’s been a part of me since I was a little girl. We get tickets for home games for if we’re not training,’ she said.’I’ve got a little source at the club who sorts me out away tickets but I’m not telling any of the girls that because it’s just me.’

BETH MEAD

Lifelong passion: Arsenal forward Beth Mead, 27, from North Yorkshire, started playing football at the age of six

Lifelong passion: Arsenal forward Beth Mead, 27, from North Yorkshire, started playing football at the age of six

Talented: Mead moved to Sunderland aged 16 and juggled a professional career with a degree in Sport Development from Teesside University and commitments as a coach to local schoolchildren

Talented: Mead moved to Sunderland aged 16 and juggled a professional career with a degree in Sport Development from Teesside University and commitments as a coach to local schoolchildren

After starting out at a team called California Girls, Mead was picked up by the Middlesbrough Centre of Excellence, now known as Middlesbrough RTC

After starting out at a team called California Girls, Mead was picked up by the Middlesbrough Centre of Excellence, now known as Middlesbrough RTC

Arsenal forward Beth Mead, 27, from North Yorkshire, started playing football at the age of six. 

‘I just loved all kinds of sports. Cross country, cricket – anything,’ she told Her Football Show. 

‘I used to go to a local Sunday morning session and I’d play with the boys. I loved it from the first minute. My mum was warned that the boys were quite rough, and was asked if I’d be okay. But she said I was rougher than most of the boys.’

After starting out at a team called California Girls, Mead was picked up by the Middlesbrough Centre of Excellence, now known as Middlesbrough RTC.

She moved to Sunderland aged 16 and juggled a professional career with a degree in Sport Development from Teesside University and commitments as a coach to local schoolchildren. 

Mead signed with current club Arsenal in 2017, following in the footsteps of England teammate Jordan Nobbs, who was an inspiration to her growing up. 

‘She was in the age group above me [at the Centre of Excellence] but was known for playing for the England youth teams and a huge talent,’ Mead said. 

‘I followed a similar pathway to her. She was at Middlesbrough, then went to Sunderland and now I’m at Arsenal with her. I told her that I was a stalker – I’m just following her!’

She made her debut for England’s senior team in 2018 and played in the 2019 Women’s World Cup in France. However she missed out on the squad for the 2020 Olympics. 

She credited the snub with driving her passion last season and says she now feels more ‘confident’.  

‘Hopefully I can take that into the Euros,’ she told the Guardian last month. ‘I’m in a good place, I’m in a good headspace, my football has been good so I’m just trying to channel that energy in the right way.’

ELLEN WHITE 

Ellen White and her husband Callum Convey have been together since their university days

Ellen White and her husband Callum Convey have been together since their university days

Ellen posted a sweet tribute to Callum on his birthday in 2018 saying 'think I will keep you forever'

Ellen posted a sweet tribute to Callum on his birthday in 2018 saying ‘think I will keep you forever’

The couple married in Aylesbury in 2014 after getting engaged a year earlier

The couple married in Aylesbury in 2014 after getting engaged a year earlier

England's Ellen White poses with the trophy following last night's final against Germany

England’s Ellen White poses with the trophy following last night’s final against Germany

England’s star striker Ellen White is married to sports development officer Callum Convery.

The pair met while they were both studying at Loughborough University and got engaged in 2013 before tying the knot the following year in a barn in Aylesbury.

Callum originally worked for the Nottingham Football Association, but when his wife signed for Manchester City and the pair moved up north he switched jobs.

Two years ago the pair committed themselves to completing a mammoth sporting challenge in support of The Darby Rimmer MND Foundation.

Ellen ran and walked a total of 150 miles in 30 days while Callum committed to running 150 miles during the same time period.

The charity was set up by husband of Lioness Steph Houghton Stephen Darby and Chris Rimmer, who are both living with the degenerative illness.

On Callum’s birthday in 2018 Ellen posted a sweet tribute to her husband on Instagram. 

She wrote: ‘Happy Birthday to my favourite husband. The guy who let me take two kittens home instead of one. The guy who travels the world to support me and jumps a fence to kiss me. Think I will keep you forever.’

LAUREN HEMP 

Ellie Butler, who plays for Wolverhampton Wanderers, recently took a trip to Amsterdam with her beau Lauren Hemp

Ellie Butler, who plays for Wolverhampton Wanderers, recently took a trip to Amsterdam with her beau Lauren Hemp

Ellie and Lauren are often featured on each other's Instagram accounts, with Ellie recently posting photos of her 20th birthday celebrations

Ellie and Lauren are often featured on each other’s Instagram accounts, with Ellie recently posting photos of her 20th birthday celebrations

 

Lauren and Ellie on TikTok

Lauren and Ellie dancing on TikTok

Lauren Hemp, 21, and Ellie Butler, 20, often film funny dances together on TikTok

England's Lauren Hemp celebrates with the trophy following victory over Germany in the UEFA Women's Euro 2022 final at Wembley Stadium

England’s Lauren Hemp celebrates with the trophy following victory over Germany in the UEFA Women’s Euro 2022 final at Wembley Stadium

England and Manchester City striker Lauren Hemp, 21, is dating fellow footballer Ellie Butler, who plays for Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Ellie, who has been in the stands cheering on Lauren since the beginning of the tournament, posted photos of herself with her girlfriend at the end of key matches on Instagram.

Just before England’s semi-final match against Sweden kicked off Ellie, who is also a striker, posted a video of herself in the stands supporting her girlfriend once again as they sailed to victory with a stunning 4-0 win.

Lauren is a frequent feature on Ellie’s Instagram account, with the pair celebrating Ellie’s 20th birthday together at a fancy restaurant.

While it is not known exactly how long they have been dating the pair clearly have lots of fun together, often filming dances with each other on TikTok.

 

England’s heroine of the hour: How Chloe Kelly went from the 92 bus and football practice on a gravel pitch in Ealing with her five big brothers to clinching victory for the Lionesses in extra time

Chloe Kelly would have found it hard to avoid football growing up. The youngest of seven children embraced the sport from the moment she followed her five brothers to a caged gravel pitch on the Windmill Park Estate.

Kelly was football-mad. As a youngster she even took the 92 bus from Ealing to go to Wembley on FA Cup Final day. Was she there to watch the match? No. She was there to collect a programme.

That yearly pilgrimage helped form the Lioness with the location taking on a whole new meaning yesterday: as she scored the goal at Wembley against Germany to bring England its first piece of footballing silverware since 1966.

‘I don’t think there are many who came up playing in a cage,’ says the 24-year-old. ‘I was always around the cage with the boys as soon as I was allowed, about the age of seven. My brothers included me even though they were older and playing with their friends.

Chloe Kelly, centre, celebrates with Lauren Hemp, left, and Jill Scott after scoring the winner in the Euro 2022 final for England

Chloe Kelly, centre, celebrates with Lauren Hemp, left, and Jill Scott after scoring the winner in the Euro 2022 final for England

As a youngster Kelly took the 92 bus from Ealing to go to Wembley on FA Cup Final day to collect a programme

As a youngster Kelly took the 92 bus from Ealing to go to Wembley on FA Cup Final day to collect a programme

She suffered injury setbacks in the past few years including a serious ACL injury in 2021

She suffered injury setbacks in the past few years including a serious ACL injury in 2021

Chloe Kelly has five brothers whom she used to with play football in the cages

Chloe Kelly and her brothers

Chloe Kelly has five brothers whom she used to with play football in the cages

‘The whole summer we would get out in the cage early mornings, go back for some food and be straight back there. A few years later, someone melted a bin in the middle. It wasn’t the best, but we had to make do with what we had!

‘Playing cage football really made me the player I am. It added a bit more creativity to my game and the physicality as well.’

Were the brothers protective? ‘Definitely not. They were probably the ones telling everyone to hit me harder. Get used to it. If I was on the floor, they would tell me to get up.

‘They never really felt sorry for me if I was getting knocked about. I think that was the way to go. If they made it easy, you would always think everything is going to come easy in life and that’s not the case. That’s how I’ve got so far today.

‘I was one of them. Looking back, I really appreciate that but less so at the time. I was a bit gutted going home and crying to my mum sometimes.’

Kelly grew up playing in Ealing's football cages with her five brothers which she credits her physicality and creativity to

Kelly grew up playing in Ealing’s football cages with her five brothers which she credits her physicality and creativity to

Kelly will now go down in historic alongside the likes of Geoff Hurst as having scored in international final for England

Kelly will now go down in historic alongside the likes of Geoff Hurst as having scored in international final for England

Kelly says her formative experiences on her west London estate helped improve her game

Kelly says her formative experiences on her west London estate helped improve her game

Kelly was top scorer in the FA WSL when the season was ended prematurely due to pandemic

Kelly was top scorer in the FA WSL when the season was ended prematurely due to pandemic

Kelly watches elder brother Jack and triplets Ryan, Jamie and Martin play local league football when she is back in west London.

‘Jack still says now that he’s better than me,’ says Kelly who has another brother, Daniel, and sister, Paris. ‘He says, ‘I’ve taught you everything you know, but not everything I know’. They don’t let me get too carried away. They always keep me grounded and that’s a great thing.’

After being scouted by QPR at a schools tournament – ‘it was my first real game because I was used to playing in the cages’ – Kelly turned professional with Arsenal. She took the bold decision to move to Everton, initially on loan, in 2016 even though it led to homesickness and regular calls to her mum Jane and dad Noel.

The England striker has revealed she often felt homesick after move to Everton in 2016

The England striker has revealed she often felt homesick after move to Everton in 2016

‘If I hadn’t gone to Everton, I don’t know if I would be in the position I’m in now at City and pushing on in my career,’ she says. ‘I could have been satisfied with sitting on the bench at a top club but I needed minutes under my belt. I needed to show what I was capable of on the pitch, not just the training pitch. I don’t think a lot of people would make that leap of moving to a city I’d never been to before at such a young age.

‘It was very daunting. Because I was such a family girl, I got homesick and every opportunity I got I would be back, but I knew it was the best for my career.’

Kelly was fourth in the Women’s Super League scoring charts with nine goals for Everton when the season was ended. City, who were top at the time but saw Chelsea crowned champions on a points-per-game basis, signed Kelly in July 2020 and she scored an impressive 10 goals and made 11 assists in her first season in Manchester.

‘Once I found out City were interested in me it was a case of, ‘OK, when can we get it done?’. I can’t wait to get going,’ says Kelly. ‘There are a lot of England internationals here and that was massive for me. If I get another call-up, it’s easier going into that environment by playing with those players day in, day out.

‘I looked at playing with the likes of Steph Houghton and Jill Scott, learning, adding to my game. I’m ambitious and I want to be the best version of myself.’

The demons of missing out on England's 2019 World Cup run have been banished by her heroics in the Euros final

The demons of missing out on England’s 2019 World Cup run have been banished by her heroics in the Euros final

She only made one appearance in the WSL last season after suffering a heartbreaking ACL injury which jeopardised her ability to compete in this summer’s Euros.

But she roared back and made Sarina Wiegman’s squad for the home tournament.

It was the latest rally back from injury that Kelly had to endure. She made her England debut in November 2018 as a substitute against Austria in a friendly but suffered an ankle injury that required surgery the following February.

It kept her out for six months and out of contention for a place at the 2019 World Cup, where new team-mate Ellen White scored six goals as England reached the semi-finals.

But the demons of missing out on that run have been banished by her heroics in the Euros final yesterday, following up on a spilled ball in the 20th minute of extra time to send England into dreamland.



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