The owner of her own coffee shop, an avid Shakespeare reader and the deadly attacker who wants to open an animal farm… your guide to England’s Euro 2022 squad who have led the Lionesses to a Wembley final
- England’s ‘Wonder Women’ could secure their first major trophy on Sunday night
- Jill Scott was a veteran of the Lionesses’ last final, a 6-2 loss in Helsinki in 2009
- Ellen White and Beth Mead have been critical parts of their run to this year’s final
England’s women have never won a major trophy – but they can change that on Sunday as they take on Germany in the Euro 2022 final at London’s Wembley Stadium.
The Lionesses are unbeaten in their five games getting to the final, scoring 20 goals in the process – 8 of them against Norway, one of the pre-tournament favourites.
With all eyes on Sarina Wiegman’s team for the German challenge at 5pm on Sunday, here’s a brief guide to our so-called ‘Wonder Women’…
Mary Earps, the Manchester United goalkeeper, has made critical saves, conceding just once
The Manchester United goalkeeper who 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.’
The defender’s middle name is literally ‘Tough’. Bronze worked in Domino’s while studying at Leeds Metropolitan University and the branch in Headingley has been renamed ‘Lucy’s’ after her goal against Sweden. The right back’s father is Portuguese and she considered switching allegiances after being overlooked by England, but she finally made her international debut in 2013 and has not looked back.
Lucy Bronze has been critical to England’s rise since making her international debut in 2013
No-nonsense centre back’s first love was horse riding. Bright’s family owned a stable of horses in South Yorkshire and she regularly took part in equestrian events before deciding to focus on football from the age of 16. Bright can no longer ride horses due to insurance reasons but hopes to get back in the saddle when she hangs up her football boots.
England’s captain fantastic. She nearly swapped football for athletics. Williamson was a strong cross-country runner at school and dreamed of being an Olympian after watching the 2012 Games but stuck with football. The defender is a lifelong Arsenal fan, despite growing up in a house full of Tottenham supporters.
The forward turned left back has always put football first. Daly sat her GCSEs while at the U17s Euros in Switzerland before going on to play college football in America. A diehard Leeds United fan, Daly has a tattoo from the club’s song Marching On Together that reads, ‘At least until the world stops going round,’ which she inked in tribute to her father, who passed away last year.
Rachel Daly is a Leeds fan who worked on her football during a college football spell in the USA
England’s midfield maestro. She 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.’
The pocket rocket fired England to the semi-finals. Stanway spends her time away from the football pitch fishing, a hobby she took up during the Covid pandemic, with her rugby league-playing boyfriend Olly Ashall-Bott. The midfielder grew up idolising Alan Shearer and still takes his Match Attax card to training camps.
England’s Golden Boot hopeful who loves animals. Mead has said she would love to open an animal farm when she retires from football and joked she would call it ‘Meado Manor’. The winger has always been tough and recalls her mum being told she was ‘rougher than boys’ after taking part in her first training session.
Beth Mead currently leads the Golden Boot at Euro 2022 with six goals and extra assists
The dynamite attacker has prevailed through adversity. Kirby, who has often said she doesn’t have any hobbies outside of football, has battled through a heart illness to be at Euro 2022 and revealed earlier this year she had an oxygen tent put inside her house to help her recover.
The pacy winger could have been a professional cricketer instead. Hemp has a career batting average of 35 and bowling average of 10 for Norfolk Women, but chose to pursue football. The humble hero thought she was being prank-called when former Manchester City boss Nick Cushing rang to register his interest in signing her.
The Lionesses all-time leading scorer prefers to stay out of the limelight. The quiet striker loves William Shakespeare plays and studied English literature at college. White is a big fan of German football and adopted Anthony Modeste’s goggles celebration after watching him score a late winner for Cologne.
English literature student Ellen White picked up one of her celebrations from Anthony Modeste
Alessia Russo struck England’s third goal in a 4-0 win over Sweden in the semi-final in Sheffield
The English striker has Italian heritage and studied in America. Russo’s Sicilian grandfather moved to England in the 1950s and her father, Mario, played non-League football for the Metropolitan Police. The forward moved to the United States in 2017 to play college soccer before returning to join hometown club Manchester United three years later.
A lifelong Manchester United fan, she once forgot to take her boots to England camp. Toone has said she would love to be a DJ in Ibiza but her favourite music is by Elton John and ABBA.
‘My dad used to drive me to training and back and he only ever put Smooth Radio on,’ Toone said. ‘I didn’t know there were other radio stations.’
The defender has played for both Merseyside and Manchester clubs. Greenwood started her career with Everton but has gone on to play for Liverpool, Manchester United and Manchester City. A Liverpool fan, Greenwood admired Jamie Carragher growing up.
Leah Williamson and Alex Greenwood celebrated England’s impressive win at Bramall Lane
A tricky winger who used to play cage football. Kelly honed her skills playing against her brothers and other boys in the cages around west London. She used to take the 92 bus from Ealing to Wembley to buy a match programme for FA Cup finals before going back home but will now get the chance to play there for England.
The longest-serving player in the squad. Away from football, Scott has always had a love for coffee and last year opened her own shop ‘Boxx2Boxx’ — named after her midfield role on the pitch — just outside Manchester. Scott also has her own BBC podcast, Jill Scott’s Coffee Club.
Jill Scott is the only current player who was part of the losing England side in the 2009 final
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