How many people can say they’ve led England to a major cup win before the age of 26?
two. The late Bobby Moore and Leah Williamson. Moore was 25 when he lifted the World Cup in 1966. Williamson was the same age she led the Lionesses to their first silverware last summer.
Williamson turns 26 today and has already had the world at her feet. The Arsenal defender has every chance of winning back-to-back titles 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 down to their captain’s leadership.
Williamson’s success with the Lionesses soon led to her becoming one of the most recognizable faces in football, but her popularity extends beyond sports.
Leah Williamson is one of only two people who can say they have led England to a major trophy win before the age of 26
Williamson was England’s captain when they lifted the European Championship last year at Wembley
The only other person to claim fame is Bobby Moore, the 1966 World Cup winning captain
She was on the front cover of GQ magazine for December and January and even appeared on Graham Norton’s New Year’s Eve show.
As the England team’s DJ, it was perhaps fitting that she was one of the few England players invited to this year’s BRIT Awards whilst also helping to present an award at the National Television Awards alongside Millie Bright and Jill Scott.
Not surprisingly, brands such as Nike, Gucci, Vogue, Pepsi, Doritos and Cadbury’s are lined up to work with the England captain.
Another front-page magazine shoot, this time for Women’s Health, had a far-reaching impact at the end of last year.
In this article, Williamson spoke candidly about suffering from endometriosis.
The defender was diagnosed in 2021 after suffering severe menstrual pain, and a concussion shortly before the Euros nearly put her participation in doubt.
The advocate has participated in many projects and projects after her recent successes
She was on the front page of Women’s Health, where she opened up about her struggles with endometriosis
“Before the European Championships, I had a concussion, they say it can really affect your next period, and it was bad — really bad,” Williamson told Women’s Health.
“You know when you’re on the bathroom floor and I’m literally like, ‘I can’t move.'” When it’s too late to take the tablets because, well, I’m fine now.
I was like, “It can’t happen.” Like, I actually won’t be able to play. (Endometriosis outbreak) is a major fear when you reach an uninfected tournament.
In addition to raising vital 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 critically ill youth.
Arguably, Williamson’s work off the field in creating a path for young girls is as important as her accomplishments on it. She, Lotte, and Opin-Moi were instrumental in forcing the government to promise that it would provide girls equal opportunities in football and school sports.
Williamson, along with Lute Woopen Moi, was instrumental in forcing the government to promise that it would provide girls equal opportunities in football and school sports
On the soccer field, Williamson is known for her calmness, composure on the ball, and discipline with it, having never before been sent off for club or country.
Williamson’s journey to England captaincy began when she joined the Arsenal Academy in 2006, at the age of nine. Despite growing up in a family of Tottenham fans, Williamson chose to support Arsenal and hasn’t looked back.
She made her debut at the age of 17, and her first England cap followed four years later.
At the age of 21, Williamson has made over 100 appearances for Arsenal and four trophies (she now has six). In December last year, the defender made her 200th appearance for the club, and there is every chance she will make it to 300 and more.
While Kim Little currently wears the Arsenal captain’s armband, Williamson is likely to take the helm in the future.
She’s not yet captain of Arsenal, but she’s meant to be one day and has already made over 200 appearances for the club
Sarina Wegman knew Williamson would be at the heart of the team for years to come when naming her captain
There was some surprise when Sarina Wegman appointed Williamson as captain over the more experienced names in the Lionesses camp. But the England boss knew Williamson would be at the heart of the team in the years to come and had the right qualities and temperament to handle the pressure.
Williamson has already displayed her leadership qualities in an England shirt. At the age of 18, she was spotlighted while playing in a crucial qualifying match for the European Under-19 Championship in 2015.
Williamson had taken and scored a stoppage time penalty against Norway. But in a strange turn of events, she had to take him back five days later.
German referee Maria Cortes disallowed the goal for infringement and awarded a free kick to Norway, rather than ordering the ball to be returned.
The decision meant England lost 2-1 and missed out on a place in the finals of the tournament. In an unprecedented move, however, UEFA agreed not to follow the rules and decided to restart the match from the 96th minute – starting with Williamson’s penalty. The days that followed were restless and Williamson was seen pacing the halls of the Hotel England until the last day came.
The story attracted national attention. There was a huge crowd and Sky Sports News went there to broadcast the penalty. I signed up, definitely. Even at that young age, Williamson had nerves of steel.
Her success at last summer’s Euros 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 was named at the top of the BBC’s Women’s Hour Power List.
Williamson is undoubtedly a role model and inspiration to many, and the imminent release of You Have the Power is likely to be another success that she can add to her collection of accomplishments.
Williamson is due to play a part in the second leg of Arsenal’s Champions League clash against Bayern Munich on Wednesday
She is set to release a book called You Have the Power in the not too distant future
However, Christmas celebrations will remain on hold until after this evening’s Champions League quarter-final between Arsenal and Bayern Munich.
Arsenal, who sold more than 20,000 tickets for the game, are trailing 1-0 from the first leg last week, but perhaps they should have taken something out of the game after creating several chances to score.
“It’s my birthday, so I hope we’ll have a good day anyway!” Williamson said after going last week.
“From now until the end of the season, every game is a final.”