A mother has praised England’s lioness for inspiring her teenage daughter as they prepare to face Germany in the Euro 2022 final.
Ellie Chadwick, 42, of Accrington, Lancashire, will be watching the much-anticipated match while on vacation with her two daughters, Katie, 18, and Charlie, 16, on Sunday.
England’s victory will be particularly poignant for the Chadwick family as it follows youngest daughter Charlie’s dream of becoming a lioness.
Charlie has just signed for Liverpool Ladies U21 and now has the opportunity to make his dream come true through a double career at Liverpool.
Ms Chadwick credits the current England team for playing a big role in building her daughter’s confidence.
She told PA news agency: “Talent is nothing without hard work and every girl will see it through our lioness.
“It (Charlie) is now down to dedication, commitment and continuing to work hard.
“The current England team and Euro have finally given him more confidence and passion to make this dream a reality.
“We’ve got our fingers crossed for Sunday – the women are an absolute inspiration and certainly inspiring my daughter to aim high and work towards her dream of being one of them in the future.”
Charlie began playing grassroots football as the only girl on her local boys’ team when she was just nine years old.
He was soon picked up by Blackburn Rovers RTC when England players Georgia Stanway, Keira Walsh and Ella Toon all played in the older age group.
Charlie told the PA: “To reach the finals for England and beat Sweden was unbelievable.
“You can see what it meant when the team won and I was very emotional too.
“They deserve to win the tournament and deserve all the credit and accolades because it is such a huge achievement and has come a long way over the years.”
Chadwicks will be part of the millions of fans who will face England and Germany at Wembley on Sunday at 5 pm.
However, the family has been on holiday in Egypt during recent matches and has found it a “nightmare” trying to watch the games abroad.
“On Sundays we fly home and have a late checkout booked for our rooms so we can watch the first half as we are picking up at 6pm,” said Ms Chadwick.
“It’s been a nightmare because you can’t get BBC iPlayer here, but we weren’t going to give up and we managed to find a sports channel and stayed in our hotel room for both the quarters and semis.”
England played in front of a competition-record 68,871 attendance, starting their campaign with a 1-0 win over Austria at Old Trafford, and the finish at the National Stadium this weekend is a sell-out.
Ms Chadwick believes this rise in popularity will help remove the stigma surrounding women playing football.
She said: “Over the years I’ve seen more and more girls join the grassroots team[but]I don’t think girls and women have ever received the credit or media coverage they deserve.
“I believe that with the recent developments it will give more girls the confidence to pick up the ball and start playing football without feeling that they can only play with boys and that will not be good enough.
“I also feel that boys will respect girls more without ridicule or stigma.
“We are very proud of women and their commitment to doing what they believe in.”
Charlie said: “On Sundays everyone should go after the lioness because having the support and trust behind you makes you want it more and you have to put in the extra effort to do the same for not only your country but your friends and family as well.” Huh.”