Leah Williamson has the world at her feet
How many people can claim to have led England to a major trophy before the age of 26?
Two. The late Bobby Moore and Leah Williamson. Moore was 25 years old when he won the world title in 1966. Williamson was the same age when she led the Lionesses to their first silverware last summer.
Williamson turns 26 today and already has the world at her feet. The Arsenal defender has every chance of lifting back-to-back trophies Down Under this summer.
England will be one of the favorites to win the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand and a large part of that is thanks to their captain’s leadership.
Williamson’s success with the Lionesses has quickly made her one of football’s most recognizable faces, but her popularity extends beyond the sport.
Leah Williamson is one of only two people who can say they guided England to a major trophy before the age of 26
WIlliamson was England’s skipper when they won the Euros at Wembley last year
The only other person with claim to fame is Bobby Moore, captain of the 1966 World Cup
She was on the cover of GQ magazine in December and January and even appeared on The Graham Norton Show on New Year’s Eve.
As England’s team DJ, it was perhaps fitting that she was one of the few England players invited to this year’s BRIT Awards, while also helping to present an award at the National Television Awards alongside Millie Bright and Jill Scott.
It’s no surprise that brands like Nike, Gucci, Vogue, Pepsi, Doritos and Cadbury’s are all lining up to work with the England captain.
Another front-page shoot, this time for Women’s Health, had a far-reaching impact late last year.
In the play, Williamson spoke openly about suffering from endometriosis.
The defender was diagnosed in 2021 after suffering from severe period pains and a concussion injury just before Euros almost put her participation in doubt.
The defender has been involved in many ventures and projects following her recent successes
She was on the front page of Women’s Health speaking about suffering from endometriosis
“Before Euro I had a concussion that they say can really affect your next period and it was bad — really bad,” Williamson told Women’s Health.
“You know, when you’re lying on the bathroom floor and you’re literally like, ‘I can’t move.’ When it’s too late to take the pills ’cause I’m on it right now.
“I thought, ‘This can’t happen’. Like, I actually won’t be able to play. [An endometriosis flare-up] is a big fear when you come to a tournament unhurt.”
In addition to raising awareness of the condition, Williamson is involved with a number of charities. She is an ambassador for the Willow Foundation, which offers special days and treats for critically ill young adults.
Wiliamson’s work off the field in creating a path for young girls is arguably as important as her achievements along that path. She and Lotte Wubben-Moy were instrumental in forcing the government to give girls equal access to football and school sports.
Williamson, along with Lotte Wubben-Moy, was instrumental in forcing the government to commit to giving girls equal access to football and school sports
On the football field, Williamson is known for her calm and composure on the ball and her discipline off the ball, having never been sent off for a club or country.
Williamson’s journey to becoming England captain began when she joined Arsenal academy in 2006 at the age of nine. Despite growing up in a household of Tottenham fans, Williamson made the decision to support the Gunners and hasn’t looked back.
She made her senior debut aged 17 and four years later earned her first cap for England.
By the age of 21, Williamson had made over 100 appearances for Arsenal and four trophies (she now has six). The defender played her 200th game for the club in December last year and there is every chance she will play 300+.
While Kim Little is currently wearing the captaincy for Arsenal, it is more than likely that Williamson will take the mantle in the future.
She is not yet Arsenal captain but one day she should be and has already played over 200 games for the club
Sarina Wiegman knew Williamson would be the heart of the team for years to come if she named her captain
There was some surprise when Sarina Wiegman named Williamson captain over more experienced names in the Lionesses camp. But the England manager knew Williamson would be at the heart of the side for years to come and had the right qualities and temperament to deal with the pressure.
Williamson had already demonstrated her leadership qualities in an England jersey. At the age of 18, she was thrust into the limelight when she played in a crucial 2015 European Under-19 Championship qualifier.
Williamson had shot and scored an overtime penalty against Norway. But in a bizarre turn of events, she had to repeat it five days later.
German referee Marija Kurtes disallowed the goal for assault and awarded Norway a free kick instead of ordering a replay.
The decision meant England lost 2-1 and missed out on a place in the tournament finals. But in an unprecedented move, UEFA agreed the rules had not been followed and ruled the game should be replayed from the 96th minute – starting with Williamson’s penalty. The days that followed were anxious and Williamson was seen pacing the halls of England’s hotel until the day finally came.
The story had attracted national attention. It was a big crowd and Sky Sports News went live there to broadcast the penalty. She scored emphatically. Even at this young age, Williamson had nerves of steel.
Her success at last summer’s European Championship has made Williamson one of the most recognizable faces in football. She was awarded an OBE in the New Year’s Honors List and on Tuesday she was placed at the top of the BBC’s Woman’s Hour Power List.
Williamson is undoubtedly a role model and inspiration to many, and the upcoming release of her book, You Have the Power, will likely be another accomplishment to add to her trove of accomplishments.
Williamson will feature in the second leg of Arsenal’s Champions League game against Bayern Munich on Wednesday
She will be releasing a book called You Have the Power in the not too distant future
However, the birthday celebrations will be put on hold until after tonight’s Champions League quarter-final between Arsenal and Bayern Munich.
The Gunners, who have sold over 20,000 tickets for the game, were 1-0 down in the first leg last week but probably should have taken something from the game after creating several scoring chances.
“It’s my birthday so I hope we have a nice day anyway!” Williamson said after last week’s first leg.
“From now until the end of the season, every game is a final.”
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-11916821/Leah-Williamson-got-world-feet.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 Leah Williamson has the world at her feet