Mother thanks lionesses for inspiring daughter to ‘turn dream into reality’

The mother praised the English lionesses for inspiring her teenage daughter to prepare for the Euro 2022 final against Germany.

Ellie Chadwick, 42, from Accrington, Lancashire, will be watching the highly anticipated match on Sunday while on holiday with her two daughters, Kathy, 18, and Charlie, 16.

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Kelly Chadwick, 42, from Accrington, Lancashire, will be watching the highly anticipated match on Sunday while on holiday with her two daughters, Charlie, 16, and Katie, 18. (Kelly Chadwick/PA)

An England win will be especially important for the Chadwick family as Charlie’s youngest daughter dreams of becoming a lioness.

Charlie has just signed with Liverpool Ladies U21 and with a double career at Liverpool, she now has the opportunity to make her dream come true.

Ms Chadwick credits the current England team for playing a big role in building her daughter’s confidence.

She told the PA news agency, “Talent is nothing without hard work and every girl will see it through our Lionesses.

“Now (Charlie) needs to continue the dedication, commitment and hard work.

“The current England and Euro squads have finally given her more confidence and passion to make that dream a reality.

“Fingers crossed for Sunday – the ladies are an absolute inspiration and certainly encourage my daughter to set her goals high and work towards her dream of becoming one in the future.”

Charlie started playing grassroots football as the only girl on her local boys’ team when she was only nine years old.

She was soon picked up by the Blackburn Rovers RTC while England internationals Georgia Stanway, Kira Walsh and Ella Toon played in the older age groups.

Charlie told PA: “It was incredible for England to reach the final and beat Sweden like they did.

“You could see what it meant for the team when they won and I was very emotional too.

“They deserve to win the tournament and deserve all the praise and appreciation as it’s such a huge achievement and they’ve come a long way in the last few years.”

The Chadwicks will be part of the millions of fans tuning in as England and Germany clash at Wembley on Sunday night at 5pm.

However, the family was on holiday in Egypt during recent matches and found it a “nightmare” to try to watch games abroad.

“We are flying home on Sunday and have booked a late check out for our room so we can watch the first half as we get picked up at 6pm,” Ms Chadwick said.

“It was a nightmare since you can’t get a BBC iPlayer here but we weren’t going to lose and we managed to find a sports channel and we stayed in our hotel room for both the quarter-finals and the semi-finals.”

England played in front of a tournament-record attendance of 68,871 as they opened their campaign with a 1-0 win over Austria at Old Trafford, with a sold-out final at the national stadium this weekend.

Ms Chadwick believes the rise in popularity will help de-stigmatize women who play football.

She said, “Over the years, I have seen more and more girls join the grassroots team, (but) I don’t think girls and women have ever received the recognition or media coverage they deserve.

“I believe with recent developments it will give more girls the confidence to take the ball and start playing football without feeling like they can only play with boys and not be good enough.

“I also feel that boys will have more respect for girls without ridicule or stigma.

“We are so proud of the ladies and their drive to do what they believe in.”

Charlie added: “Everyone should support the lionesses on Sunday as the support and faith for you makes you want it more and gives you the extra effort to do it not only for your country, but for your friends and family.”