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Hero goal scorer Chloe Kelly hugged her family as she returned home to Ealing today following the Lionesses historic

por Fausto Skaggs (2022-08-19)


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)

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

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

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

‘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.

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ISSN: 1980-5861